A Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue bulldozer team helps with firefighting efforts in Valencia County. (Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue Courtesy Photo)

Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue recently sent firefighters to help battle the Big Hole Fire in Valencia County. 

Fire Chief James DeFillippo said a bulldozer team was deployed Monday to help fight the fire in the Belen bosque, north of River Road. 

The New Mexico Forestry Division, Valencia County Fire Department and other fire agencies are continuing to strengthen containment lines around the fire. The rehabilitation of fire breaks created by bulldozers and efforts to remove hazardous trees with significant fire damage are underway. 

As of Thursday afternoon, the estimated 890-acre fire was 51 percent contained. One home and 18 outbuildings were destroyed in the early stages of the fire, according to the Forestry Division. 

No evacuations are in place. 

Fire and Rescue’s bulldozer team could stay past Monday, depending on the conditions, DeFillippo said. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  

People who are sensitive to wildfire smoke should take precautions and use the New Mexico Department of Health 5-3-1 Visibility Method to determine if it’s safe to be outside.  

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