Dairy blaze brought under control

Freedom New Mexico: Argen Duncan Silage burns near firefighting equipment Thursday afternoon at Western Star Dairy on Roosevelt Road 2. Firefighters from seven departments battled the flames in high winds and heat and tried.

By Argen Duncan: Freedom New Mexico

Firefighters brought a blaze under control at a Roosevelt County dairy Thursday evening after battling flames and high winds and for five hours.

No one was injured.

Steven Cain of the Portales and Floyd fire departments said feed caught fire at Western Star Dairy on Roosevelt Road 2, and the blaze spread into a large pile of silage, including the plastic and tires covering it.

Floyd Fire Chief Allen Deen said the cause was under investigation, and he expected some firefighters to remain on scene overnight.

The fire destroyed hay bales and burned silage and other feed, he said. Investigators were still trying to determine the extent of damage.

John Kropp of Portales and Floyd fire departments said a front-end loader was damaged when it caught fire while being used to move burning silage.

Cain, who was directing the effort, said firefighters kept the flames from a barn storing feed, but spot fires flared in cow pens.

“So we’re aggressively trying to protect the cattle in the lots right now,” he said about halfway through the effort.

After the fire was under control, Deen said he knew of no injured cattle.

Cain said about 50 firefighters from Arch, Elida, Cannon Air Force Base, Clovis, Floyd, Melrose and Portales helped with the effort. Kropp said dairy workers were volunteering their services as well.

Weather hindered their work with wind gusts of up to 45 mph.

“We’re having a hard time because of the wind, the high speed of the wind, the direction of the wind and the temperature. It’s hot,” Cain said.