Crews contain fire that threatened watershed, caused evacuations

Crews contain fire that threatened watershed, caused evacuations

From the Las Vegas Optic

Fire crews from multiple agencies have contained a fire that threatened the city’s water supply and caused the evacuation of the United World College-USA.

The Peterson Fire began Friday afternoon around 1:30 p.m., fueled by sustained winds of 15 to 20 mph, according to officials with the New Mexico Forestry Division. The fire was 80 percent contained, as of this writing, and crews had shifted focus to putting out hot spots.

Threat of smoke and road closures in the area cause the evacuation of UWC-USA Friday afternoon. Carl-Martin Nelson with UWC-USA told the Optic that school security notified him of the fire around 2 p.m. Friday, and “out of an abundance of caution,” school officials evacuated the roughly 220 students on campus.

Students were taken to the Abe Montoya Recreation Center where cots and blankets were provided. Officials were prepared to house the students at the recreation center for days if needed, but by Saturday morning, fire crews had made progress containing the flames, and all UWC-USA students were allowed to return.