Wildfire near Colo.-NM border doubles in size; Fremont County residents urged to evacuate

Staff reports Updated: June 13, 2011 at 12:00 am • Published: June 13, 2011

RATON, N.M. (AP) — A wildfire near the New Mexico-Colorado border that has already forced the evacuation of about 200 homes and businesses and shut down part of a major interstate has more than doubled in size.

Fire officials confirmed Monday afternoon that the Track Fire had grown to an estimated 6,000 acres.

It has also destroyed two structures, but officials had no details on whether they were homes, businesses or outbuildings.

The fire has forced the evacuation of between 800 to 1,000 people from neighborhoods northeast of Raton.

In addition to homes and businesses, Mayor Neil Segotta says other concerns are the city's water treatment plant and its watershed.

Asked to describe the fire, the mayor said: "It looks like your worst nightmare."

He says the winds are beginning to get stronger.

Wildfire near Raton forces interstate closure

RATON, N.M. (AP) — A raging wildfire near the New Mexico-Colorado border has forced the closure of Interstate 25 and fire officials say about 200 homes and businesses are being threatened.

State forestry spokesman Dan Ware says the Track Fire has picked up considerably since settling down overnight. He describes it as "pretty crazy," saying the wind was expected to pick up Monday afternoon.

Crews have been feverishly trying to build dozer lines to keep the flames out of the community's watershed. Crews are also working on structure protection.

The fire has charred about 2,700 acres in mostly pinon and juniper.

Ware says no structures have been lost.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a grant to help New Mexico pay for up to 75 percent of the cost of fighting the fire.

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