Fire destroys sorghum, hay on ranch east of Portales

Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune A fire, which broke out on a ranch east of Portales, claimed more than $1 million in sorghum and hay Thursday afternoon. Wes Fraze, son-in-law of the ranch owner said some corn may have also been threatened.

Fire destroyed an estimated $800,000 worth of ground hay and sorghum this afternoon on a ranch east of Portales.

According to Wes Fraze, son-in-law of the W Diamond Heifer Ranch owner, R.L. Rogers, the fire began when a contracted worker was grinding the hay and sorghum.

Fraze said the worker believed a rock had gotten caught in the grinder, causing a spark.

“Worst case scenario, it’s a $2 million loss,” Fraze said. “I’m just glad it didn’t jump because we got a field on the other side and there’s a bunch of farm equipment over there.”

Fraze said the ranch lost about $100,000 worth of hay and about $700,000 worth of sorghum. He said he did not yet know whether or not they had lost their corn.

Roosevelt County Sheriff Darren Hooker said the call came in at 11:50 a.m.

Arch Fire Command J.T. Norman said at 3 p.m. the fire was not yet contained but under control.

He said firefighters would be on the scene well into the night.