Alkali Fire near Santa Rosa closes WB I-40

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SANTA ROSA, N.M. — Fire officials say the Alkali Fire that sparked Thursday has already burned around 1,200 acres near Santa Rosa.

“We’re looking at unprecedented times in our county. I mean it’s tall, dry, it’s a tinderbox. It doesn’t take much to spark a massive grass fire,” said Justin Rodgers, Santa Rosa fire chief.

Crews have shut down a 10-mile stretch of westbound I-40 (mile markers 257-267) while they work to get the Alkali Fire under control.

According to Wendy Mason with the New Mexico State Forestry, the fire is 30% contained. The fire was reportedly started by a vehicle around 3 p.m. Thursday and is on private land.

No structures are threatened at this time, and there are no evacuations in place.

This is a developing story. Stay with KOB 4 Eyewitness News and for updates.