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Fire breaks out in Organ Mountains

Fire officials confirm a blaze ignited in the Organ Mountains east of Las Cruces on Saturday evening.

“With the winds and the increase in temperatures over the last few days, there’s always the potential for fire,” said Rico Smith, a public information officer for the Bureau of Land Management. “We have not had a lot of precipitation over the last month.”

Smith said the fire is near Baylor Canyon, which is off of U.S. 70.

“I don’t know how big it is at this time,” said Doña Ana County Fire Chief Nick Hempel.

The call came in at 5:25 p.m on Saturday, Hempel said.

“Even though it seems like it’s been humid, last summer was pretty dry,” Hempel said. “We’re still in drought conditions. Unfortunately, when it’s dry in the desert, fires can start anytime of the year.”

Fire crews from the Organ district of the Doña Ana County Fire Department responded initially, Hempel said. The Bureau of Land Management then took over the fire.

Last June, another large fire broke out in the Organ Mountains near San Augustin Pass, growing to 4,300 acres at one point.

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