10 p.m., July 8

Evacuations have begun in the Manzano Morning neighborhood in response to the Ojo La Casa fire that started burning late afternoon on July 8.

Torrance County Manager Wayne Johnson said that approximately 18 homes have started to be evacuated by the Bernalillo and the Torrance County Sheriff’s deputies to the Tajique Community Center.

He said evacuations are voluntary, and no one is being forced out at this time. Manzano Morning is a mile north of La Para Road off of N.M. 337 between Chilili and Tajique.

A “super active” fire is growing in the same area as the 2016 Dog Head Fire, according to Forest Service spokesperson Arlene Perea of the Mountainair Ranger District.

Answering a question about rumors on the internet that there are two fires, Perea said there is only one as far as fire crews know, dubbed the Ojo La Caso Fire.

Perea said the fire is growing, and that she heard an unconfirmed estimate of 20 acres near N.M. 337 and Aceves Road late this afternoon. She said the fire is being attacked with air tankers, helicopters, and engines.

The Forest Service, Torrance County and Bernalillo County, and Santa Fe County’s Edgewood fire crew are among those responding to the fire at this hour.

There were about 30 sheriff’s deputies and additional units at the McGrane Safety Complex in Tijeras, and another staging station at 10 Points General Store around 6 p.m.

The Independent will continue to monitor this story, and update it as information becomes available.

Tamara Bicknell-Lombardi
Tamara Bicknell-Lombardi

Tamara has worked for The Independent off and on for several years, as an integral part of this family
business. She currently does reporting, manages the ad sales team, and serves as office manager. She is
an artist, working primarily in oil paints.