By Carlos Morales
A fire that began Friday afternoon in Mexico and soon spread across the border east of Presidio is now contained, according to a county official.
The Big Bend Sentinel first reported the fire began around 4:15 PM near where Alamito Creek meets the Rio Grande. Officials estimate the fire burned across 550 acres of the Texas-Mexico border, including the creek.
“There was a while for a little bit where it was kind of out of control but they’ve contained it,” said Presidio County Chief Deputy Sheriff Joel Nuñez.
Nuñez, speaking to Marfa Public Radio, said fire crews from Presidio and Ojinaga responded to the blaze, along with help from the Presidio County sheriff’s office, highway patrol, and border patrol. Nuñez said Presidio volunteer firefighters will most likely monitor the area overnight.
The Marfa Volunteer Fire Department also assisted with the fire and sent two brush trucks to help bring it under control.
No injuries have been reported, but there were evacuations in order for several hours, said Nuñez.
“The other residences were evacuated because of the smoke, we were concerned about smoke inhalation.”
The evacuation order has since been lifted and residents are allowed to return home.
For hours, FM 170 — known as River Road — was shut down. Nuñez said low visibility along the highway was the reason for the closure. The road has been partially re-opened “little by little,” and travelers are able to use the road with a short wait time.
“If everything goes well here, then we’re going to open it up completely,” said Nuñez.
This is a developing story. We’ll continue to update this story as more information becomes available.