Downed Power Line at RV Park Sparks Fire

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June 30, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

A downed power line was the cause of a fire Wednesday afternoon (June 29) at the Rio De Arenas RV Park in Silver City, N.M., causing the evacuation of several dozen homes, the Silver City Sun-News reported.

"It can happen very easily during the windy season," Grant County Fire Management Officer Gary Benavidez said of the downed power line.

The fire started Wednesday afternoon just before 4 p.m. and burned about 10 acres, destroying a barn and several sheds, and threatening a number of nearby homes.

Resident Dawn Burns, who was at work when the fire started, heard about it when a friend called her at work. She left to go back home but was not let in to the neighborhood. Burns' husband, son and father-in-law, who were at the home when the fire started, stayed and fought the fire at their doorstep.

"When I got back home, I saw the that the flames had come close to the house and our water pump," she said.

Charlotte Roybal, who also lives in the RV park, said she knew something was wrong when she began to smell smoke.

"I smelled it, looked outside and saw an explosion of smoke rise up," she said.

Roybal, who is six months pregnant, evacuated, along with about 100 other residents from the trailer park and the end of Camino Moreno, according to Benavidez.

"The evacuation was merely a precautionary measure," Benavidez said.

Residents were let back into the area around 6 p.m. after Benavidez was sure the fire would not spread.

"It's controlled but not contained," he said at about 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Silver City, Forest Service and several volunteer fire departments fought the blaze. Sixty to 70 firefighters remained on the scene Wednesday evening and were expected to remain through the night.

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