While fire crews fought to contain the blaze engulfing a house in a neighborhood without hydrants in eastern Rio Rancho on Friday, another broke out in a home at Northern Boulevard and 26th Street, on Rio Rancho’s far west side.
High winds threatened to spread both fires.
No injuries were reported at the Northern and 26th fire, said Sandoval County spokesman Stephen Montoya.
Because of the eastern fire, Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Ryan Floersheim said, the city had no firefighting resources left to handle the west side one. As a result, Sandoval County Fire and Rescue responded to the blaze at Northern and 26th, even with the ongoing Cerro Pelado Fire in the Jemez Mountains.
Floersheim said the city released county firefighters helping with the Rio Ruidoso fire to go to Northern and 26th.
Montoya said the county fire department was spread thin because of the Cerro Pelado Fire and had to cobble together a crew to fight the western Rio Rancho house fire.
“It took some time to get the apparatus together and get everybody out there,” he said.
Firefighters kept the blaze from spreading to other structures, but it destroyed the home and two vehicles. Montoya said the cause is unknown and the New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.
He had no more information because county fire department leaders were focused on the wildfire and had minimal availability.