LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – More and more people are faced with evacuation. It’s not just families that are trying to figure out how to get out safely.

For most, when the order comes down to evacuate, people grab what they’ve packed and run. But for the San Miguel County Detention Center, getting around 80 inmates out safely and quickly comes with its own challenges.

“I was informed on Friday afternoon about 1:30 that there was a fire near the detention center and so, the San Miguel County Sheriff notified me that I needed to evacuate, or plan to evacuate the facility within 48 hours,” Antonio Padilla, warden at the San Miguel County Detention Center, says.

Padilla says the jail has never been evacuated like this since it was built back in 1995. Over the weekend, they had 85 inmates in custody.

Working with local courts and different centers around the state, they found placement for 65 detainees and bussed them out around the state – 20 to 30 inmates at a time. Twenty-one were released but the warden wants the public to know, “most of them were low misdemeanor offenders, repeat offenders who were in custody who couldn’t post bond,” Padilla says. “So yeah, they were no threat to the public.”

The warden says they had to be strategic in getting everyone out that quickly to keep the inmates and the public safe throughout the transfer process. He says once they get the all-clear to come back to the jail, they will return the inmates who are still in custody at a rate of 10 or 15 at a time.

All court proceedings at the San Miguel Magistrate Courthouse, the Fourth Judicial District Courthouse, and Mora Magistrate Courthouse were postponed Monday. No decision on closures has been made beyond that.

All 197 patients at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute have been evacuated with some going to the state Veterans’ home in Truth or Consequences and housed in two of the secured units. Those involved in crimes were escorted to Santa Rosa and Santa Fe under police escort.