A massive pile of dead branches caught fire Tuesday around 9:30 p.m., sending an orange glow that could be seen throughout Tucumcari.
The branches were at the wastewater treatment plant north of town.
“It was about 30 (foot) by 30 when we got here,” said Tucumcari Assistant Fire Chief Larry Rigdon. “It took no time to take off. They’ve been out here for years.”
The limbs had been piling up, waiting to be chipped into mulch, he said.
Firefighters did not yet know the cause of the fire, Rigdon said.
Rigdon said there were firefighters on both sides of the woodpile to contain the blaze and keep it from heating a diesel tank.
“It’s too intense, we can’t put it out right now,” Rigdon said.
After about an hour, firefighters began pouring water onto the blaze and continued well through the night.