Wildfire Forces Evacuation of Hobbs Casino - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/1/06

Wildfire Forces Evacuation of Hobbs Casino

Firefighters have contained several grass fires in Eastern New Mexico, but there is little doubt that there were many Lubbockites playing at the Black Gold Casino in Hobbs, Sunday afternoon, when authorities ordered its evacuation.

It was a precaution as a large wildfire made its way toward the city. A Hobbs nursing home, two health care facilties, dormitories at the New Mexico Junior College and the Zia Racetrack were also evacuated for a few hours. Commander Tom Dunford with the Hobbs Police Department tells NewsChannel 11 that an estimated 14 structures and 10 vehicles fell victim to the fire on the far West side of town.

At one time Sunday afternoon, wind-fueled fires were burning near Hobbs, Tatum, Lovington and Logan. The State Forestry Division says one fire near Hobbs burned an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 acres along a 20-mile line. Another fire forced the temporary closure of US 380 from Tatum to the Texas state line. Police believe that fire was caused by a car crash. The only reports on injuries were burns suffered by two Hobbs fireman, but commander dunford says they were minor.

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