USA — ALBUQUERQUE – A wildfire fanned by high winds in the Sacramento Mountains has burned an estimated 200 acres and forced the voluntary evacuation of 20 homes near Mayhill.
The Curtis Fire was reported just before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday near Curtis Canyon about 2 1/2 miles southwest of Mayhill. Winds from the southwest were gusting above 40 mph, according to New Mexico State Forestry
There are no reports of any buildings being destroyed.
At about 6 p.m. the incident commander said the fire had grown to 100 acres although cooler temperatures were tamping down fire behavior in some areas. The fire had not crossed State Route 130, which follows the Rio Peñasco canyon southwest from Mayhill past the mouth of Curtis Canyon.
A section of the 18 miles of U.S. Highway 82 running between Cloudcroft and Mayhill north of the fire was closed.
Initial reports put two hotshot crews and three engines on the scene and working the fire. Additional resources being ordered to the fire include aerial tankers.
The fire is burning in grass on ponderosa pine on private and public land within the Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico State Forestry reported.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known.
The weather forecast for Mayhill includes steady west-southwest winds 29-39 mph later becoming northwest at 11-15 mph. Gusts may hit 55 mph, and there’s a 10 percent chance of showers before midnight.
Earlier in the day a gust of 54 mph was reported at Dunken about 50 miles east of Mayhill. Alamogordo in the Tularosa Basin west and below the forest clocked a gust at 40 mph.