Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Torched?(Final)

Byline: Barbara Chavez and Chris Ramirez Journal Staff Writers

BIG FIRE, BIG DANGER: Pumpers soak houses; flames shoot to 60 feet

2 ORIGINS: Mayor says burn pattern "looks like somebody with a match"

GET OUT NOW: Residents told to leave fast, take nothing

2nd Bosque Blaze Threatens Homes, Forces Evacuations

For the second time in 24 hours, flames blazed through Albuquerque's bosque Wednesday night, threatening homes and forcing evacuations.

"We strongly believe this was arson," Mayor Martin Chavez said. "We have confirmed that it was set in two different spots along the bosque, which strongly suggests arson."

"This looks like somebody with a match," he said while viewing the fires from KOAT's Sky 7 chopper.

The fire erupted on both sides of the Rio Grande near Montano about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"It's definitely more problematic, much more complicated (than Tuesday)," Chavez said. "We take into account we've got the wind against us, it's nighttime, there's no air support, and we have many more structures threatened."

Among structures immediately threatened included an apartment and townhome complex and shopping centers at Montano and Coors, and several homes in Dietz Farm area on the east side of the river. …

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