Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Thomas Garcia
Staff writer 

Officials warn of fire risks


March 7, 2018

A lack of significant rainfall for more than four months and an abundant supply of wild fire fuel have area fire officials urging Quay County residents to follow control burn protocols.

"There is a very real danger for wildfires in Quay County," said Donald Adams, Quay County Fire Marshall.

Adams said while there is no burn ban in place, residents are being asked to be cautious with open burns such as campfires and control burns.

"It is extremely important not leave any open fire unattended," Adams said. "With the high winds the area has been experiencing and dry vegetation it would take very little for the fire to spread and become out of control."

In Quay County there has not been significant rainfall since October 2017, said Troy Marshall, National Weather Service Albuquerque.

Marshall said in October there was 2.25 inches of rainfall recorded near Tucumcari, in the following months there has only been trace amounts of precipitation reported in the county.

On Sunday the District 2 fire department responded to a fire at a hay barn west of Tucumcari, said Danny Wallace, District 2 fire chief.

Wallace said because of the high danger of a wildfire spreading he requested the assistance of neighboring departments. He said departments have to haul water to the rural locations which can slow down the departments ability to get the fire under control.

"We did not need the other agencies’ assistance but with the high danger I'd rather have them there and not need them, rather than need them and not have them there," Wallace said.

Adams said if residents are going to perform a control burn they need to contact central dispatch to check if the conditions permit a burn and to notify the proper authorities of the burn.

To check conditions or report a control burn call 575-461-2280.


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