Brush Fire Singes Trailers at New Mexico RV Park
Justin Manely was napping Thursday afternoon in his trailer at Lee Acres RV Park in Farmington, N.M.,when he happened to wake up, look out his window and see a brush fire sweeping toward his home.
He ran outside with his dog and cat and turned on the hose. No water came out.
“There’s a fire and no water, that’s the worst thing ever,” Manely told The Daily Times, Farmington. “It was coming this way and I couldn’t do anything about it.”
Firefighters determined the fire started when someone discarded a match after lighting the pilot light on a water heater. It burned slightly more than an acre at the trailer park.
No homes caught fire, but heat from the blaze melted the outside of at least six trailers and one house next to the park after flaming cotton balls jumped the fence.
“It was like hell pretty much,” Manely said. “The heat was crazy.”
Once firefighters responded, the structures were safe within 10 minutes and the fire was extinguished in 20 minutes, said Mike Bradshaw, assistant chief of San Juan County Fire Department District 6.
The fire spread quickly because of the plentiful cotton and cheatgrass in the area, Bradshaw said.
After the fire, two members of the Bureau of Land Management swept the scorched earth and chopped down trees that were burned at their base during the flames.
No valuable or significant property was damaged during the fire, Bradshaw said.
No one could say why several tenants’ water didn’t work when the fire started.
“I have no idea why,” said Richard Clayton, the owner of Lee Acres. “We paid our bill, and it’s almost $4,000 a month.”
He said he has seen smoke from several brush fires that got out of hand in the area this summer.
“People should know how to prevent a fire,” Clayton said. “But some of these people are city folk.”