By Grant McGee
The Staff of The News 

Fire leaves 4 homes 'uninhabitable'


Last updated 4/30/2022 at 12:17pm

Sarah Coker

A helicopter draws water from Greene Acres Lake to help put out Friday's fire northwest of Clovis.

CLOVIS -- A Friday afternoon fire northwest of Clovis caused major damage to four homes, burned other structures and led to evacuations of a middle school and day care, officials said.

As the weekend began, Clovis Fire Department officials were still assessing the damage, specifically the acreage involved and the structures damaged or destroyed in the fire that brought in assistance for the Clovis Fire Department from three helicopters, eight other fire departments and Cannon Air Force Base personnel and equipment.

Dan Heerding, Clovis' emergency management director, said three mobile homes and a "foundation based" house were "rendered uninhabitable" by the fire.

City officials stated in a news release that a vehicle fire on Llano Estacado spread to a nearby field. Officials declared the blaze contained by 4:30 p.m., but they were still fighting structure fires and "hot spots" into the evening.

Friday afternoon, Gattis Middle School students were evacuated to the Legacy Church as a "precautionary measure," said Kelsey Knight of the city of Clovis.

Knight also said multiple structures had burned just west of County Road M and Llano Estacado.

Children and personnel from an unnamed day-care facility had been evacuated to City Hall, Assistant Fire Chief Fay Craigmile said.

Craigmile said some homes were evacuated due to the fire.

She said eight Clovis fire trucks were on the scene battling the blaze at 3 p.m. As the scope of the fire increased more departments came to help.

Heerding said personnel and equipment came to fight the blaze from Ranchvale, County Line, Melrose, Grady, Pleasant Hill, Tucumcari, Texico and Farwell fire departments as well as personnel and equipment from Cannon Air Force Base.

Heerding said help with traffic and barricading came from the Clovis Police Department, Curry County Sheriff's Department and state police.

Three helicopters were seen drawing water from Greene Acres and Dennis Chavez lakes in town and dropping water on the flames.

Access to those parks was restricted due to that activity.

The helicopters were identified as two from Aero Tech, the medical transport company, and a helicopter from an unspecified federal department, according to Heerding.

Clovis Public Works department and the Curry County road department provided road graders. The city also provided a water tanker truck.

Heerding said the graders were used to blade a fire break around the blaze to slow the fire's progress.

Heerding said one person was examined for an unspecified fire-related injury but not transported.

Personnel from The American Red Cross came from Roswell and were on the scene working with people helping them find a place to stay as some areas remained closed off Friday night.


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