Fire breaks out at rec area in Carlsbad

Posted at: 04/09/2013 7:22 PM
Updated at: 04/09/2013 7:25 PM
By: Amber LaVail, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Five acres of the recreation area at Wildcat Bluff went up in flames last night.

According to investigators, the fire started at a fishing nook where someone started a campfire.

Fire engineer and paramedic Scott Maxwell said, "It looks to be the fire started on public property owned by the city of Carlsbad, and spread to private property."

The private property is on the other side of the Pecos River where it is narrow.

The fire jumped from one side of the river to the other.

James Everson lives on the private property.

Emerson says, "I have an enclosed fire out here in the back, I'm pretty careful with it."

This might be what Everson says but on his campsite we found an unenclosed fire pit just like the one investigators say started the fire.

One thing is certain. Somebody violated the no trespassing sign, walked right down a trail, and lit the fire.

Captain Jarod Florez says, "Any lands whether they be private or public property that are actually posted no trespassing, the law needs to be enforced."

But according to Everson, "It is private land but I have nowhere else to go right now, I'm comfortable with it."

"If it is posted no trespassing then you should not be on the property without the owner's permission,” says Florez.

The homeless campers living in Wildcat Bluff create worry that another fire could again break out.