N.M. Wildfire Destroys Homes, Threatens 800


A 1,780-acre grass fire is burning south of Silver City, N.M., on Highway 90 at mile marker 38, and at least 12 homes have been damaged or destroyed.

Officials said the Quail Ridge Fire is burning out of control, and that it is human-caused. Even though the fire is not contained, crews said fire activity is lessening.

Darrell Britton lost his home in the fire.

"I had to get out of here because it was coming fast," he said. "I didn't even look back, I just got out of here."

Evacuations have affected residents on Mountain View Road, Rosedale Road, McKinney Road, Ridge Road, Lance Drive, Apache Street, Silver Acres and Bonita Avenue.

Nearly 800 homes are threatened by the Quail Ridge Fire. Firefighters have stopped the fire's progress throughout the Rosedale subdivision after several homes burned.

"Right now we're evacuating people. We've got ambulance and EMTs. We're taking elderly people with oxygen, and we're just getting everyone out of here right now," Grant County Sheriff's Department Lt. Michael Aguirre said.

Evacuees are to report to the Silver City Convention Center or the business center near the Ace Hardware in Silver City.

"I want to go home. I want to go home," said worried resident Jeanette Hamilton-Trujillo.

"From what one of the officers just said, another house went up. So, we could be waiting for quite a while," said resident Frank Graves.

People can take the their dogs and cats to the Animal Humane Society in Silver City. Livestock can be taken to the Horseman's Arena in Arena Valley.

Ridge Road is the main road south and it has been closed. Also, McKinney Road at Highway 90 at mile marker 37 has been closed.

Numerous fire agencies are at the scene fighting the fire.

"We've got Forest Service, we've got Silver City Police Department, Tyrone Fire Department, Whiskey Creek Volunteer, all of surrounding agencies are helping right now," Aguirre said.

Winds are blowing 45-50 mph in the region.

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