Downed power lines spark two fires


Area personnel are dealing with two fires in Archuleta County that were started by power lines that were downed due to high winds.

One of the fires is along County Road 500 (Trujillo Road) near the Caracas Bridge and the New Mexico state line. This is the same fire that was initially reported as being on the 3000 block of County Road 500.

According to Undersheriff Tonya Hamilton, the power line is lying in the road and poses a problem for responders to work around.

She noted the wind is blowing at speeds between 40 and 50 mph, which has helped the fire spread to about an acre of land and has burned a property owner's fencing.

La Plata Electric Association spokesperson Indiana Reed reported that 340 customers are out of power.

The other fire is in the Edith area, on County Road 359.

Hamilton explained that the downed power line was also lying in the road. The size of the fire is currently unknown.

Hamilton said the Jicarilla Apache Tribe and Dulce have responded as mutual aid to the Edith fire.

Archuleta County Road and Bridge is responding with water trucks and heavy equipment to create fire breaks as needed.