The fire occurred at a residence by the intersection of County Road 24 and County Road F.8, just off U.S. Highway 491 and near Belt Salvage. It was reported a little after 5:30 p.m.
According to Cortez Fire Chief Jay Balfour, the residence where the fire originated was at a fairly new mobile home – the residents had only been in that location for about a year, he said.
The family was grilling, and some hot embers fell out of the bottom of the barbecue, catching some weeds on fire, Balfour said.
The fire then spread across about half an acre of grass, extending into the Belt Salvage yard by around 30 feet, he said. The family was able to evacuate unharmed, although their home was seriously damaged.
“It’s basically a total loss,” Balfour said.
Officials from the Cortez Fire Protection District, Lewis-Arriola Fire Protection District, Southwest Health System, and Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. Empire Electric Association and Atmos Energy personnel also arrived, in order to disconnect the electric and gas lines to the structure, Balfour said.
Firefighters stayed at the site until about 8:30 p.m., by which time the fire and all hot spots were fully extinguished, Balfour said. Some debris and tires in the Belt Salvage yard caught on fire, he added, and some abandoned vehicles in that yard were starting to burn, but they were able to extinguish these flames before the fire extended too far.
The fire affected traffic on County Road 24 for the three hours they were at the scene, Balfour said. The Red Cross is now working with the family whose home burned.