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4 Volunteer Firefighters Arrested In Huge Hay Fire In Mesquite

Four Dona Ana County volunteer firefighters who were putting out what was left of the huge hay fire that lighted up the night sky just south of Las Cruces have been arrested.

The volunteer firefighters, who were assigned to the Mesquite fire station, were arrested on suspicion of arson, a second-degree felony, and conspiracy to commit arson. Investigators suspect they used a Molotov cocktail to ignite the blaze.

They are: Primitivo (Junior) Perez, Carlos Martinez, Luis Gutierrez and Joshua Jaramillo. They were arrested Tuesday morning on the scene.

The flames broke out at about 11:30 p.m. Monday at the Mountain View Dairy on Stern Drive and Highway 228 in Mesquite, just south of Las Cruces.

Fire crews with the Mesquite, La Mesa and South Valley fire departments responded to the scene. Investigators said the fire was so big at the time, that the Mesquite Fire Marshal decided to let the 400 bales of alfalfa hay burn out.

Fire crews monitored the flames overnight and no other structures were damaged. No injuries were reported. However, the fire marshal said the dairy farm owner stands to lose about $120,000.

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