2 p.m. Moriarty Mayor Ted Hart said the city is on standby to open up the Civic Center as a shelter if needed, and talked about the devastation at the scene of the Dog Head Fire.

The City is also standing by with a fire crew if needed, with extra people on hand so that if it becomes necessary he can send a crew of 4 to 5 people and two fire trucks. The City is also the main defense against fire in the northern end of Torrance County right now as the county’s firefighting resources are on the fire already.

Hart said he had visited the fire earlier in the day to transfer supplies to the Emergency Operations Center.

Asked about the five men on horseback who had gone missing, Hart said all five had been rescued.

Hart said the scene looked “horrible,” adding, “Everything’s dead. It’s the eeriest feeling you ever saw. We were probably half a mile from the fire on the north side of the fire. There’s no green leaves, no foliage, nothing but toothpicks standing and ash on the ground.”

He said he saw at least three houses that had been destroyed, and power lines fused together after the posts burned to ash.

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Moriarty Mayor Ted Hart said he saw at least three burned houses in the path of the Dog Head Fire. Photo courtesy of Ted Hart.

“If they ask you to evacuate, grab what you need and get out,” Hart said. “If it’s coming in your direction it’s going to get you. Just get out and let the firefighters do their jobs.”

The Moriarty Civic Center will be opened as an emergency center if need be, and the Heritage Rodeo Arena is standing by as a secondary location for livestock if needed, he said.

Hart said the Civic Center would accept any donations that might be used to help people displaced by the fire if needed. “One of the things, it may sound weird, but socks, T-shirts, underwear—those are needed, even for the firefighters, he said. Donations of water or food would also be accepted, although the Civic Center is not opened as a shelter so those should be non-perishable food items.

Residents can reach the Moriarty Civic Center at 505-832-1719, or Moriarty City Hall at 505-832-4406.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.