Grass fire burns over 3,000 acres

Thirty fire department units, and 60 personnel, responded to a grass fire 20 miles south of Elida and 15 miles west of Milnesand on Sunday morning.

According to Elida Fire Department Chief Rusty Cater and Milnesand Fire Department Chief John Mohon, fire units from Arch, Milnesand, Elida, Causey, Dora, Floyd, Portales, Melrose and Tatum responded to the incident. The Roosevelt County Road Department also sent six road graders.

Crews arrived at 9:15 a.m., 15 minutes after a call was placed to the Elida department. The final fire crews left the scene at 2:33 p.m.

Mohon said 3,000 to 5,000 acres were burned in the fire, but no injuries or building damages were reported. A unit from the Dora Fire Department rolled and totaled its truck, but no personnel were injured.

Mohon said an investigation of the fire is pending through the New Mexico Forestry Division. He said high winds may have caused a power line problem that sparked the blaze.

Many of those same units responded to another fire later Sunday afternoon near Lovington.

Lovington Fire Department Chief James Williams said 60 thousand acres were burned with that fire, starting two miles into Chaves County, west of State Road 172 and spreading 34 miles across New Mexico Highway 206.

Williams said no residences were burned, but a hay barn and a storage barn were destroyed and some firefighters sustained minor injuries. He said the fire was fully contained at midnight, but fire units patrolled the area until 1 p.m. Monday.

According to Gary Nuckols of the Portales Police Department, there was also one small fire east of Portales, but it was extinguished within a few minutes.