New Mexico Wildfire Burns Structures

TIMBERON, N.M. --

A wildlife has burned some structures and is threatening dozens more in the mountains near Timberon in southern New Mexico.

State Forestry spokesman Dan Ware said the Timberon fire has charred about 100 acres and at least three structures have burned but firefighters haven't been able to confirm what types of buildings they were.

Ware said 15 residences in the Timberon area have been evacuated, with about 70 structures still immediately threatened. A shelter has been set up at Cloudcroft High School.

"It was all white smoke and I just can't believe it got so out of control," one resident said. "I am extremely nervous. I have my life, my home and everything is up there and I can't even go home."

One woman who left her home quickly this afternoon said she grabbed what she could and is just waiting by the phone in case there's any information.

"Everyone left their doors open so their animals, and their pens, cows, goats, dogs, cats whatever so they could at least have a running chance at getting away," said resident Melissa Mendenhall.

While residents are uneasy, fire officials said they are optimistic about getting it under control.

"The one player that's not in this mix is the wind. It is slowing the fire down a bit, but it is very active and of course this is an area that is populated, so that poses its own risk," said Ware.

Crews from the surrounding volunteer fire departments, the U.S. Forest Service and State Forestry have been battling the fire. They were helped Wednesday evening by two heavy air tankers.

Ware said the fire, burning on private and federal land, is crowning in the tree tops and has not been contained.

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