Students, Faculty Return to New Mexico College after Wildfire Evacuation

No structures were burned



LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Approximately 300 students and faculty of a small private college in northern New Mexico returned to campus on Saturday as firefighters worked to mop up and fully contain a wildfire that prompted a precautionary evacuation.

There was no formal evacuation order but United World College USA officials decided Friday to evacuate the campus as a precaution. Those evacuated spent the night on cots in a recreation center in nearby Las Vegas.

“At that time, winds were blowing at about 20 miles per hour but they were also swirling and we were getting a lot of smoke on campus and we also saw some embers on campus and realized this could be moving very quickly,” college President Victoria Mora told KOAT-TV.

No structures burned and no injuries were reported.

The fire five miles (eight kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas started Friday afternoon, burning an estimated 30 acres (12 hectares) of timber and brush, with containment estimated at 10% of its perimeter as of Saturday.

The fire’s cause was under investigation, officials said.

“We were happy that the firefighters chose our soccer field as a base of operation,” the college said on social media. “When firefighters camp on your property you know you’re in good hands!”

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