RUIDOSO, NM — The Little Bear wildfire continues to burn out of control in the Ruidoso area. The fire has destroyed an estimated 36 structures and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people and has burned more than 35,000 acres. The blaze remains at zero percent containment.
The weather cooperated with efforts today and the lines held well. The Forest Service says that there is still a lot of unburned fuel in the interior of the fire area and it is still a dangerous situation.
There are currently more than 600 personnel dedicated to fighting the fire. At a town meeting Sunday evening, Governor Susana Martinez announced that she had ordered an additional 100 National Guard troops to assist the 100 troops that had arrived Saturday night. Aircraft was grounded for most of the day on Sunday due to high winds. There was structure protection in place yesterday at Ski Apache and dozer lines were being extended to protect the area.
The evacuation of Rancho Ruidoso has been lifted and residents have been allowed back into their homes. Sunday evening, a precautionary evacuation notice was sent to residents of the Upper Canyon, Perk Canyon, Brady Canyon, Alpine Village, Grindstone, Black Forest and Ponderosa Heights. The evacuation was not mandatory and is meant to make sure residents are on alert in the event a mandatory evacuation is needed.
The following road closures are still in effect:
• State Highway 532
• Ski Run Road
• State Highway 48 to Capitan
• Highway 37 to Highway 380
NM 220 has been re-opened to Sierra Blanca Regional Airport.
The Red Cross has set-up a shelter for evacuated residents at the Ruidoso High School gym.
Public Meeting Information:
There will be a public meeting Monday evening at 7:00 PM at the Ruidoso High School gym.