Silver Fire burns nearly 19,000 acres, still zero percent contained

POSTED: 11:11 PM MDT Jun 13, 2013    UPDATED: 05:10 PM MST Jan 15, 2014 
HILLSBORO, N.M. -

The Silver Fire near Hillsboro, N.M., is still burning thousands of acres of land.

Fire officials said the flames are just a quarter of a mile away from the town of Kingston.

Kingston is one of New Mexico's many ghost towns filled with remnants of the past.

Less than 30 people call the town home. All of them were evacuated this week.

The evacuees are hoping they can return home without any damage from the fire.

"It's been a minute-by-minute kind of moment-by-moment feeling for the past however many days it's been. I think it's been four. It's hard to think ahead because you're waiting for information and the information there's a lot of variables," said Susan Roebuck, one of the evacuees.

Roebuck said she rushed to gather her things when Kingston was evacuated.

She and many others have taken refuge in Hillsboro.

"I'm also so grateful to the community that's been supporting last week. I can't say enough about our neighbors who've been feeding us and taking care of our needs, anything we need it's there for us. It's really brought us closer together," said Catherine Waneck, another evacuee.

Miles away from Hillsboro, the Silver Fire has burned 18,800 acres. It's still zero percent contained.

"We have people up there right now cleaning up the area, cleaning up debris, logs and limbs. As soon as we can safely get people back into that community, we will allow that," said Donna Storch, public information officer of the Silver Fire.

Storch said despite the close proximity of the flames, the ghost town is safe for now.

"For the moment Kingston is out of danger but so many of these fires are driven by the winds and a shift in the wind pattern can cause a change in the fire," Storch told ABC-7.

Residents were relieved to hear the news.

It's not safe to return home yet, but Waneck is already looking forward to it.

"I'm apprehensive to see the black range after the fire because I hear it's very different. Some of the trees have been spared but it's going to look a lot different from now on. However, our town of Kingston I think is going to look a lot the same because all the buildings have been spared and a lot of the trees. Our green valley is still going to be our green valley," she said.

FIre crews are standing by to protect the town in case the flames get closer.

They are also working to create fire breaks to get the fire under control and stop it from spreading.