Local fire crews fight grass fires

By Kevin Wilson: QCS Interim Managing Editor

Local fire departments spent most of Thursday afternoon fighting a pair of grass fires, with one burning approximately 1,800 acres but causing no injuries or major structural damage.

Units were dispatched shortly after 1 p.m. about five miles south of Tucumcari near state highway 209. A grass fire started there as the result of a tire blowout, officials said.

“The tire hit the ground and probably caused some sparks,” Tucumcari Deputy Fire Chief Larry Rigden said. “It’s really dry, and when your winds are blowing 35 miles an hour, it doesn’t take much.”

The fire spread into a field adjacent to the road, and trucks from 10 different units combined to work on the fire.

Tucumcari Fire Chief Mike Cherry said the fire was under control after 6 p.m. A few corrals were burned, Cherry said, but he knows of no injuries or major structural damage.

Midway during the grass fire, another fire was reported along Interstate 40. That fire, Cherry said, was a small fire in a median area. Traffic was temporarily held up due to visibility issues.

Departments working included the Tucumcari department, Quay County Districts 1-4, Logan, Conchas, the Forest Fire Department, Bard/Eende and Jordan.

“The departments are used to fighting these kinds of grass fires,” Rigden said. “They worked really well together.”