- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

CROSSROADS, N.M. (AP) - A wildfire that burned thousands of acres of prairie in eastern New Mexico was caused by a blown tire.

State Forestry Division spokesman Dan Ware said Tuesday that evidence at the scene points to sparks from an exposed wheel rim or steel belts on the blown tire threw sparks onto nearby grass.

The fire was estimated at up to 10,000 acres by the time it was contained. No structures were threatened.

The Highway 508 fire started Monday night in Lea County before moving into Roosevelt County.

Ware says officials are planning to fly over the burn scar Wednesday to get the burned acreage total.

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