LAS VEGAS — A week after the Las Tusas Fire caused evacuations in the Sapello area and burned multiple structures as it rapidly spread May 10, it has been mostly contained, according to New Mexico State Forestry officials.
The fire burned nearly 1,000 acres and damaged at least three structures and 10 outbuildings.
Roads into and out of the Sapello area were closed when the fire began, and it ultimately impacted 165 residences and 492 individuals. Evacuees were able to go to the Abe Montoya Recreation Center or Storrie Lake State Park, both of which were set up as evacuation centers.
City and volunteer fire departments from across the state helped to contain this fire, which was taken very seriously following last year’s Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, which began as a controlled burn by the U.S. Forest Service and quickly became the largest wildfire in the history of New Mexico.
The cause of this latest fire is not yet known as it remains under investigation.
As of May 18, the fire has not been completely extinguished, but it was 90% contained, making it safe for the residents in the area to return to their homes. Calmer winds and precipitation helped fire crews to control the fire quicker.