Latest Rico Fire update 8:33 p.m. 062023

Rico Fire has grown to 250 acres in size. It is estimated to be 95% on Bureau of Land Management lands. Retardant laid down by aircraft earlier was effective in slowing the fire's progression. This will give dozer and hotshot crews a good opportunity to work on containment line construction tonight.

REMOVED: Road Closure Silver City Area NM 15 and NM 35 at milepost 6-25 southbound closed due to Rico Fire



At the junction of NM 15 and NM 35 at mile post 6 to milepost 25 the southbound lanes are now open, fire is still burning in the Gila National Forrest, please proceed with caution.



At the junction of NM 15 and NM 35 at mile post 6 to milepost 25 the southbound lanes are closed due to a fire in the Gila National Forrest. Motorists are asked to obey posted signs and seek an alternate route.

updates:Rico Fire erupts west of Pinos Altos

Rapid growth to 40 acres, air and ground resources responding

Updates:  Please note that SMALL animals that have been evacuated from the Rico Fire may be taken to the High Desert Humane Society.

Evacuated Large animals may be taken to Southwest Horseman’s Association Arena off of US Hwy 180 and Caballero Road just East of Silver City, New Mexico.

SILVER CITY, NM, June 20, 2023 – Fire crews are responding to a new wildfire ignition located approximately 1.5 miles northwest of Pinos Altos. The Rico Fire started on Bureau of Land Management land and has quickly grown to approximately 40 acres; the cause is unknown. It is burning in pine timber, oak brush, and grass.

Numerous structures are threatened and some residents have been evacuated, based on on-site judgement exercised by local police, sheriff, and state police in coordination with the Forest Service. The Grant County Emergency Manager has opened an evacuation center at the Grant County Business and Conference Center located at 3031 Highway 180 E. in Silver City. Evacuated animals should be taken to the High Desert Humane Society at 3050 Cougar Way, Silver City.

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Revised page out time: Fire breaks out near Pinos Altos

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img 6696Article by Roger Lanse Photos by Mary Alice Murphy

A wildfire has broken out northwest of Pinos Altos near the Bear Creek Cabins. According to Pinos Altos Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Jennifer Olson, the fire was called in to the Grant County Regional Dispatch Authority at 3:26 p.m. today, Tuesday, June 20, and PAVFR had multiple engines and personnel on the move toward the fire in minutes. She heard that the U.S. Forest Service had two single-engine air tankers committed, as well.

Maribeth Pecotte, USFS PIO. told the Beat that their agency has seven engines on the fire, and that the fire probably started on Bureau of Land Management land.

As information becomes more available, the Beat will report it.

Bayard approves fiscal year 2024 budget

By Lynn Janes

The town of Bayard held a special meeting May 31, 2023. The meeting started with Mayor Chon Fierro calling the meeting to order and leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Attendance at the meeting included Mayor Pro tem Raul Villanueva and councilors Frances Gonzales, and Jose Diaz. Eloy Medina did not attend.

The council approved the agenda

Public input none currently.

Old business

The council approved the interim fiscal year budget for 2024. Gonzales expressed concern over the budget because of some changes that would cause a loss in fees coming to Bayard and already Bayard has had to transfer funds from the general fund to support the court. Diaz said he had gone to a training in which he found out that the courts in municipalities will not be able to charge court fees anymore.

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Grant County Commission 060623 work session and regular meeting 060823 part 4

[Editor's Note: This article is the fourth of a series of articles on the Grant County Commission work session on June 6, 2023 and the regular meeting on June 8, 2023. This one focuses on the public input from the regular meeting, which would be pertinent for the special meeting on June 20, 2023.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The public input at the Grant County Commission regular meeting on June 8, 2023 addressed the issue of pay for the Sheriff's officers and deputies.

The first to speak was a 35-year resident of New Mexico Bobby Sherling (spelling?) and an 8-year resident of Grant County. "I am speaking on behalf of the hard work of the Sheriff's Department. We live in a rural area, and when we need their services, the department members are very effective. They are underpaid. I want to support higher wages for them. In rural areas, the activities are not always nefarious, but the department needs night vision goggles. It takes taxpayer dollars to support the Sheriff's Department. Their equipment needs include wages and night vision equipment. I live in District 4, and I will be in touch with my Commissioner Billy Billings. Our neighbors have great respect for our Sheriff's Department as well as our volunteer fire departments."

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Grant County Commission held work session 060623, part 3

[Editor’s Note: This article is the third of a series of articles on the Grant County Commission work session on June 6, 2023 and the regular meeting on June 8, 2023. This one completes county director reports at the work session.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The next county director reports at the Grant County Commission work session on June 6, 2023 came from Road Superintendent Joe Grijalva.

“Our blademen are doing routine maintenance now that we just finished patching,” Grijalva said. “Now that Southwest Concrete and Paving got the chips, we will begin our chip sealing operations. We are currently hauling chips for projects. We are working with the town of Silver City to help us with putting up the warning lights on Airport Road and the Tyrone townsite. We didn’t want to accidentally get into the fiber optics on Airport Road. I talked to Robert Esqueda and he has helped us avoid the fiber optic. We need to finish Little Walnut chip seal in late June, and another ship sealing in July and in Silver City in August.”

District 3 Commissioner Alicia Edwards asked about lights in Arenas Valley.

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Fiesta Latina 061723

Photos on Saturday, June 17, 2023 by Mary Alice Murphy

The annual Fiesta Latina event at Western New Mexico University began on June 15 and continued through June 18, 2023. It featured musicians and the always popular Mercado with artisans from all over Mexico, offering everything from clothing to jewelry to decorative and utilitarian objects, metals from copper to silver, handmade paper, and detailed craftsmanship in items made from straw, called popotillo to "paintings" made with feathers, and artwork from paintings to sculptures. The vast variety always draws lots of admirers and buyers. 

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