By Christine Steele
Las Cruces Sun-News
SILVER CITY, N.M. — A stray bullet from someone taking target practice was all it took to spark a blaze Sunday that burned more than 13 acres and caused the evacuations of several homes off Ridge Road out past the new jail.
The fire call came in to the Tyrone Volunteer Fire Department around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Roger Groves, assistant fire chief with the department, and started at the western end of Salars Road. It was later named the Mothers Fire by New Mexico State Forestry.
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Approximately 50 firefighters fought to contain the fire quickly as the winds picked up late Sunday afternoon. Both Tyrone and Silver City Fire were part of the initial attack crews on the blaze, Groves said, and resources were called in from Pinos Altos, Whiskey Creek, Santa Clara and Santa Rita volunteer departments, along with crews from New Mexico State Forestry. The Grant County Sheriff s Office were also on the scene helping to evacuate the residents.
The fire burned right up to some garages, and four homes on Salars, Running Iron Ridge and McKinney Road were evacuated as a precaution. Grant County Central Dispatch Authority sent out a Reverse 911 alert to residents in the area, including Tyrone, said Jean Fortenberry, director of the central dispatch authority. The fire was also the first time that State Forestry used the state s new email alert system, which as of Monday morning, had more than 1,000 subscribers, said Dan Ware, with State Forestry.
Groves said people need to be aware that even though the area has received some recent rain, we are still a drought and fire danger remains high. The fuels are high and we just have to ask people to use extreme caution in their activities, he said. Any little spark will be an ignition source. There were no citations or fines handed out in connection with the fire, Groves said.
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