12:30 p.m. The evacuation center in Estancia at the Torrance County Fairgrounds can take many more people and animals of all types as of noon today.
Rosanna Aragon and other members of CERT, the Community Emergency Response Team are on hand there. They have cots for 200 people along with food and water.
Donations are needed of pet food and grass hay, as well as water or snacks for those displaced by the Dog Head Fire burning south of Chilili. That’s according to Vicki Voyles, also of CERT.
Updated acreage on the fire was not available from the incident command center set up for the firefighting team at a Estancia High School, where a tent city of fire personnel has set up, as well as a phone bank of volunteers fielding questions from concerned residents.
When this reporter visited there, about half a dozen volunteers were on the phone with residents. Those with concerns may call 888-585-5547, 888-585-5546, 855-581-3862 or 855-581-3861 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. to get information on the fire, volunteer David Shell said.
Shell said the fire is “bumping up against 337 at Escobosa,” but he was not sure if it had jumped highway 337.
It is expected that the fire will push to east and maybe northeast, today, Shell said, adding that a “full air attack, and full ground attack” is underway, with crews coming in from around New Mexico and Arizona.
Those ahead of the fire should be ready to evacuate, and hot embers could start a fire a few miles ahead of the fire. Shell said people should be “very concerned.”
Crews are trying to pinch the fire off, he said. It is very dangerous for firefighters ahead of the fire.
Torrance County Emergency Manager Javier Sanchez said the Emergency Operations Center is set up and coordinating the many state, federal and local agencies responding to the fire.
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 [email protected]