CHILILI, N.M. (KRQE) – A devastating New Mexico fire has transitioned to a Type One fire. The Dog Head Fire has rapidly spread across Torrance and Bernalillo Counties and forced many people out of their homes. Nearly 300 people are estimated to be put out at this time.
Southwest Incident Management Team say 24 homes have been destroyed as well as 21 other structures. The fire has grown to nearly 17,615 acres fueled by heavy dead/down timber and ponderosa pine stands.
Taking advantage of cooler weather overnight crews and were able to reinforce the handline along the fire’s western flank. On the southern boundary dozers continued to strengthen lines. Structure protection also continued west of Hwy 337. Fire behavior could become active during the afternoon due to unstable weather conditions.
According to New Mexico Fire Information, mandatory evacuations are from the junction of Anaya Rd and 337 southward to the Torrance county line, including the communities of Chilili, Escabosa, Los Seis Hermanos Estates, Marianette Ranch Estates, Llano del Sol, Tierra de Los Suenos, Ponderosa Estates, Capital Estates, Yrisarri, and Ponderosa Pines. In Torrance County, mandatory evacuations were issued from the Torrance County line south to Highway 55 and from Highway 337 to the west.
Friday morning Torrance County Sheriff Heath White told KRQE News 13 the fire was at 6 percent containment. However, the Southwest Area Command team later reported the containment remains at zero percent.
Type One Fire: All Hands on Deck
Seven hundred firefighters are working around the clock while the National Guard is going to homes to evacuate people. The governor said that people put authorities in risk when they have to go back in and save people that refused to leave.
The fire moved fast through the Manzano Mountains heading north and took homes with it.
The wind has been a competing factor to containment and more and more people were told to leave their homes on Thursday.
Deputies in Torrance County were going door to door, telling people to get out or they will have to fend for themselves if the fire reaches their doorsteps.