Home News Local News News Alert: Wildfire burning west of Bottomless Lakes State Park

News Alert: Wildfire burning west of Bottomless Lakes State Park

Smoke is seen rising from River Road Friday afternoon. The plumes of smoke came from a wildfire that, as of Friday evening, consumed 450 acres along both sides of the Pecos River and led to the evacuation of Bottomless Lakes State Park. (Alex Ross Photo)

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A fire thought to have been extinguished early Friday was rekindled later in the day and has now grown to consume 450 acres of private land east of Roswell and prompted the evacuation of Bottomless Lakes State Park.

The New Mexico State Forestry Division reported that as of 5 p.m. Friday, the blaze that has threatened structures on both sides of the Pecos River about 10 miles outside of Roswell, is 0% contained.

In addition to Bottomless Lakes, at least one private residence in the vicinity of the blaze was evacuated. No word on any injuries. New Mexico State Police blocked off access to River Road which leads to the affected area.

Between 50 and 60 personnel from multiple fire departments are on the scene and seeking to battle the fire, according to the New Mexico Fire Information website operated by the New Mexico Forestry Division. Justin Powell, fire chief for Dexter Fire & Rescue, posted on his Facebook page that his department is one of many working to contain the fire.

Firefighters from the New Mexico State Forestry Returning Heroes Program — composed of veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces — are also en route to Chaves County to provide assistance.

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The fire initially started in the area Thursday evening and was believed to have been caused by a lightning strike. Area volunteer fire departments in tandem with firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management had worked to contain the blaze which was extinguished at about 3 a.m. this morning, according to Jimmie Williams, East Grand Plains Fire Department assistant chief, who was also incident commander during Wednesday night’s response to the initial fire.

No official word about how the fire rekindled this afternoon, but Wendy Mason, wildlife prevention and communications coordinator with the Forestry Division said it is possible that the winds picked up some still burning embers that then fell in another area.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.