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Fire crews still containing Patterson wildfire


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The Patterson wildfire near Bottomless Lakes State Park was about 30 percent contained by late Saturday afternoon and evacuations in the area have been lifted, according to information provided by the New Mexico State Forestry Division.

The park and nearby River Road reopened Saturday morning, but some structures on the east side of the Pecos River remained threatened, according to information posted by Wendy Mason, communications coordinator for the Forestry Division.

So far, no losses of buildings or lives have been reported from the grass and brush blaze that started Thursday evening from a lightning strike on private land. The fire southeast of the Roswell city limits and just west of Bottomless Lakes had burned about 780 acres by Saturday afternoon.

Crews from local professional and volunteer fire departments, as well as state and federal fire organizations, have been working to maintain the fire. By 3 a.m. Friday, they believed it had been put out, but the fire began again Friday afternoon, with Mason indicating that winds could have blown embers to reignite vegetation. Evacuations were ordered for the lake area Friday as a precaution.

By Saturday afternoon, about 70 firefighters from various agencies were working to put out hot spots and strengthen containment lines, according to the Forestry Division information.

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