Firefighters work to put out brush fire in Dona Ana County and El Paso

Firefighters work to put out brush fire in Dona Ana County and El Paso
Monday, May 20, 2013 - 11:27pm

A large brush fire that started in New Mexico carried over into El Paso endangering dozens of homes as the winds fueled the blaze Monday afternoon.

Dona Ana County officials said the fire started behind Santa Teresa Middle School and the winds carried it over to a building on Cervantes Street ANd spread to more brush eventually making it's way down to El Paso fueled by 30 mile per hour winds.

"It started out as an isolated incident then we started getting calls from different residents saying that they had trees on fire," said El Paso Fire Department Deputy Chief Samuel Rodriguez.

El Paso Fire Department officials said they had six areas they were actively working to put out fires.

A large fire quickly tore through dried brush on a canal along Meadowlark Drive in the Upper Valley.

As more and more crews arrived to battle a fire that quickly spread through the canal, police officers resorted to asking area residents to help evacuate their neighbors.

"I mean that's pretty scary if they're asking you to evacuate," said Harley Colbert.

Embers carried by the wind caught a tree on fire in the front yard of a home making residents nervous.

The fire department said the top priority was to protect people's houses.

"There's no heavy damage to any structures," Rodriguez said. "Some of them did catch fire but what I understand it is only external damage."

With 26 units and 72 total firefighters the El Paso Fire Department did contain the fire by sundown but said the wind can quickly refuel the flames so they will remain vigilant the rest of the night.   

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