A Taos resident burning brush along his acequia sparked a fire near Vadito yesterday (April 18). Taos County has a burn ban in effect until at least May 1 due to dry conditions and an abundance of fuel. After two wet winters, which caused higher than normal growth of grasses and brush, the past few months of historic dry weather have dried that growth into fuel.
Eighteen fire apparatus and 44 fire personnel are engaged at the Vadito fire. As of 7:40pm all personnel are still active in clean up and extinguishing hot-spots. In addition to the Taos County Fire Department, the Town of Taos Volunteer Fire Department, BLM and U.S. Forest Service firefighters are being utilized. Three structures have been involved in the blaze which has consumed over four acres. Taos County Public Works Department has been using their equipment to help extinguish hot-spots. Kit Carson Electric Co-op crews were able to cut electricity to the property involved and maintain power to surrounding residents. Taos County manager Leandro Cordova praised the many responders, “We are grateful to the many entities that came together to keep this fire from becoming much worse.”
Cordova went on to warn, “This is an example of why we have burn ban is in effect. With conditions as they are, it does not take much for a fire to get out of hand. We have used many resources to fight this fire, which could have been avoided if the burn ban had been followed.”