ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. High winds grounded air tankers and fanned the flames of a wildfire Sunday, sending it racing between two towns where hundreds of residents had ignored suggestions to evacuate. No one was reported injured.
Residents of about 130 homes in the towns of Manzano and Torreon, near the Manzano Mountains southeast of Albuquerque, had been asked to leave, said Torrance County Emergency Manager John Cordova. He called the threat "severe."
Even so, not many people in Manzano left their homes, said Deanna Younger, a fire information officer.
"They were standing there right in the middle of town watching it go past the town. It was a few miles away," Younger said Sunday evening. The wind was blowing at 20 mph and gusting at 35 mph, with very low humidity . Windy conditions were forecast for the next few days, Younger said.
Dark smoke hung over Manzano on Sunday afternoon as firefighters went door to door, asking residents to leave.
Fire crews were working on rugged terrain on the east side of the blaze, but high winds grounded air tankers and helicopters that had been dropping fire retardant on the blaze earlier in the day, Baston said.
The fire started Tuesday, threatening communication towers and a University of New Mexico observatory. Investigators are looking into the cause, which was deemed "suspicious."
Near Boulder, Colo., a 2-acre grass fire within a half-mile of 1,300 homes was extinguished shortly after officials warned residents of it. There was no evacuation order.