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4 homes, barns burn in fast-growing NM grass fire

Authorities say four homes and several barns have been damaged in a rapidly growing grass fire that forced evacuations of a well-known New Mexico racetrack and nearby neighborhoods. ...

Authorities say four homes and several barns have been damaged in a rapidly growing grass fire that forced evacuations of a well-known New Mexico racetrack and nearby neighborhoods.

State Forestry Division spokesman Dan Ware confirmed the damage Sunday. He did not know how many people were evacuated from the homes and Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino.

The track hosts the All-American Futurity, one of the richest races for quarter horses.

He says a stretch of U.S. 70 on the eastern edge of Ruidoso Downs closed after flames jumped the highway.

The wind-driven blaze began hours earlier on state and private land in Ruidoso's Gavilan Canyon in southern New Mexico. It is estimated between 1,000 and 2,000 acres.

The cause of the fire isn't known.

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