Fire attributed to dry weather, high winds

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Courtesy illustration A grass fire swept across 20,000 acres in Bailey County on Monday. By Gabriel Monte: CNJ Staff Writer A dangerous combination of dense grass, high winds and dry weather produced the massive grass fire Monday in Bailey County that burned an area bigger than Clovis, according to Muleshoe City Manager David Brunson. And […]

State Forestry warns of winter fire danger

Santa Fe, NM – While many areas of New Mexico are seeing considerable snow and rainfall this year, parts of the state are still at high risk for fire danger, according to New Mexico State Forestry. The New Mexico State Forestry Division is urging residents, especially those living in the southeast corner of the state, […]

Fire danger up during cold months

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CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo An apartment building at 1000 S. Oak St. caught on fire around 8 a.m. Sunday. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer A half-dozen fires have displaced Curry County residents from their homes since Thanksgiving weekend, according to a local Red Cross official. It’s a reminder to think fire safety during […]

Fires don’t discriminate

By Anita Doberman: Columnist I followed with great interest and apprehension the California fires, not only because I fear any kind of atmospheric phenomenon, but because I empathized with those who lost their homes and left behind their possessions. Having lived in hurricane prone areas for a few years, I know that it can be […]

Chief: Structure fires suspicious in nature

CNJ staff Clovis firefighters have responded to three fires at vacant residential structures since Saturday, according to Clovis Fire Chief Ray Westerman. “They are all suspicious in nature,” he said. “It is unusual for us to have so many at a time.” Fire and law enforcement are working together on the investigations, he said. Including […]

Disaster doesn’t discriminate

By Anita Doberman: Columnist I followed with great interest and apprehension the California fires, not only because I fear any kind of atmospheric phenomenon, but because I empathized with those who lost their homes and left behind their possessions. Having lived in hurricane prone areas for a few years, I know that it can be […]

Lava flow makes for tourist hot spot

Just west of Carrizozo lies a 45-mile long lava flow which is estimated to have been formed more than 1,000 years ago. The perfect place from which to begin exploration of the lava flow is the Valley of Fires Recreation Area, four miles west of Carrizozo. The recreation area has a nature trail loop that’s […]

Keep Independence Day injury free

By Staff Sgt. Julan Bentley CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — The American traditions of camping, cookouts, and of course fireworks celebrate the summer season, especially our nation’s birthday on the Fourth of July. However, each of these activities can turn from a joyful celebration into a painful memory when children or adults are injured. The […]

Feb. 13, 1918

The Johnson family band of Clovis had been selected to perform at the Hereford Breeders Association meeting in Amarillo. … City Barber Shop reported its bath rooms were “first class and … always kept clean and in a thoroughly sanitary condition.” … Silent movie fans were looking forward to Mary Pickford’s performance in “Stella Maris” […]

Roosevelt County ablaze with more than 12 fires Sunday

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers Lightning strikes caused havoc Sunday, starting more than 12 fires in Roosevelt County that burned more than 24,000 acres, according to local firefighters. There were no injuries or damaged structures reported because of the grass fires that occurred near Elida, Floyd, Arch, Milnesand, Highway and Crossroads. Firefighters from Roosevelt and […]

Portales home destroyed in fire

By William P. Thompson: Freedom Newspapers High winds plus dry grass added up to little sleep for local firefighters over the weekend. One Portales home was destroyed and another damaged in separate fires on Sunday. About 2,000 acres of grassland were scorched near Causey, and local firefighters also helped battle a 100,000-acre grass fire between […]

Day trips: Carrizozo offers treat for lava lovers

Compiled By William Thompson: Freedom Newspapers Just west of Carrizozo lies a 45-mile long lava flow which is estimated to have been formed more than 1,000 years ago. The perfect place from which to begin exploration of the lava flow is the Valley of Fires Recreation Area, four miles west of Carrizozo. The recreation area […]

Ex-military firefighter finds satisfaction in civilian life

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Clovis firefighter Chris Elam says he has enjoyed the transition from Air Force firefighter to civilian firefighter. (File photo) By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer Chris Elam joined the Air Force out of high school because he wanted to fight fires, but found the military didn’t fit his needs. He found what he was looking […]

Mouse takes down house

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Luciano Mares uses a garden hose to help the Fort Sumner Fire Department extinguish a fire Saturday at his house at 1137 Grove Street. Mares said he inadvertently started the fire when he tried to burn a mouse. (Staff photo: Andrew Chavez) By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer Dry conditions throughout the region have resulted […]

Dry weather here to stay

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Curry County officials say dry conditions in eastern New Mexico have left an abundance of fuel for grass fires across the region, such as the dry grass on this property north of Clovis on State Road 209. (Staff photo: Andrew Chavez) By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer The dry conditions that have spawned a series […]

County praised for fire response

By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer The monstrous grass fire last week at the Melrose Bombing Range that consumed 35,000 acres was the hot topic at Tuesday’s Curry County Commission meeting. Road Superintendent Danny Davis recounted to the commissioners details of his department’s involvement in fighting the blaze. Davis said he assisted in fighting the […]

Fire Department gets new fire safety house

Bruce Ford, 27th Fighter Wing Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention, opens the door to the new fire house recently acquired by the Cannon Air Force Base Fire Department. Melanie Salazar The door and doorknob are hot. Smoke pours into the room between the door and the threshold, and the fire alarm chirps stubbornly in the […]

Holiday weekend relatively quiet

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer The Fourth of July weekend was relatively quiet for area police, except for all the fireworks popping off in the sky above Clovis. From Friday to Tuesday morning, Clovis police received 112 fireworks complaints in the city, according to call logs from the department. “Every year we get a […]

Clovis sunsets are smokin’

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A haze of smoke purportedly from a fire in the Capitan Mountains hovered over Clovis on Monday afternoon. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth. By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer People looking to the southwest on Monday afternoon may have noticed a dark sky and smelled smoke. The smoke wasn’t coming from anywhere nearby, however […]

Fighting fire with air tractors

By Gary Mitchell When the summer wildfire season breaks out in the western states, one Clovis man and his crew get involved. Ted Stallings, owner/operator of Aero Tech in Clovis, has five firefighting aircraft called “air tractors” heavily involved in fighting fires in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. “Right now, we’re fighting fires big […]