- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

TIMBERON, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on a wildfire burning in part of a mountain village in southern New Mexico (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

Gov. Susana Martinez says federal funding will help cover the costs associated with fighting a blaze that has destroyed homes and burned nearly a half square mile in southern New Mexico.

Martinez was briefed Thursday by fire officials on efforts to corral the blaze, which forced the evacuations the night before of dozens of residents who live in and around the community of Timberon.

The governor says the fire may have destroyed more than a dozen homes and that many more are threatened. Conditions have prevented firefighters from confirming damage reports.

Martinez also activated the state emergency operations center to help coordinate the response to the fire in Otero County.

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12:50 p.m.

Gov. Susana Martinez plans to be briefed by fire officials leading efforts to corral a blaze that has destroyed homes in southern New Mexico.

Martinez will be visiting the Timberon area Thursday afternoon. She’s expected to catch a glimpse of the fire as she flies in on a National Guard helicopter.

Fire officials say the blaze has burned about 290 acres and an unknown number of structures. Exploding propane tanks have kept firefighters from confirming any damage reports.

Otero County Sheriff Benny House told The Associated Press early Thursday that he saw approximately 15 burned structures while viewing the fire’s perimeter Wednesday night and that many appeared to have been homes.

Some roads are closed in the area.

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Noon

Authorities say exploding propane tanks are keeping firefighters from confirming how many structures have been destroyed by a wildfire burning in and near the southern New Mexico mountain village of Timberon.

A multiagency fire information service also reports Thursday morning that there are downed power lines in the area.

According to the service’s update on the Timberon fire, it has burned an estimated 290 acres of private lane and that an interagency team will take over command of the incident by late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Otero County Sheriff Benny House told The Associated Press early Thursday that he saw approximately 15 burned structures while viewing the fire’s perimeter Wednesday night and that many appeared to have been homes.

There are no reported injuries.

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11:10 a.m.

A wildfire that destroyed a dozen homes and scorched 28 square miles in the Manzano Mountains southeast of Albuquerque has been declared fully contained.

Fire officials say that means crews have completed a control line around the perimeter of the blaze, which was sparked a month ago by a wood-chipping machine being used to clear brush and forest debris as part of a federally-funding project.

Officials warned Thursday that 100 percent containment doesn’t mean the fire is out.

There are still engines patrolling the area and watching for any fire activity.

The blaze forced residents from several small communities along the eastern edge of the Manzanos to flee their homes. Gov. Susana Martinez also declared an emergency after the fire ballooned to more than 19 square miles in two days.

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9:10 a.m.

A southern New Mexico sheriff says he believes homes are among the 15 or so structures burned by a wildfire burning in and near the mountain village of Timberon.

Otero County Sheriff Benny House says many of the burned structures he saw when he viewed the fire’s perimeter Wednesday night appeared to have been homes and says there could be more in the fire’s interior.

House says the fire burned 250 acres of wooded hilly terrain as of Thursday morning. Its cause isn’t known.

The sheriff says deputies went door to door Wednesday to recommend that residents evacuate. He says many homes in Timberon are not owners’ primary residences.

Local fire departments are fighting the fire with help from the Forest Service.

Timberon is 25 miles southeast of Alamogordo.

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8:30 a.m.

A wildfire is threatening a village in mountains of southern New Mexico.

The Otero County Sheriff’s Office says the fire near Timberon has burned an estimated 200 acres as of Thursday morning and destroyed a dozen structures and a fire engine since being reported Wednesday afternoon.

Timberon is 25 miles southeast of Alamogordo.

Sheriff’s dispatcher Chris Patton says no injuries have been reported and that it’s not immediately known what type of structures burned. She says they could include homes, sheds and garages.

Patton says cause of the fire isn’t yet known.

Officials say several dozen Timberon residents spent the night at an evacuation shelter in Cloudcroft.


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