Ruidoso Evacuates as Wildfires Rage, One Dead

RUIDOSO, N.M. — The entire village of Ruidoso and surrounding areas have been evacuated as fast-moving wildfires continue to ravage southern New Mexico.

At least one person has been reported dead, with officials confirming the fatality amid ongoing evacuation efforts.

The wildfires, tearing through Lincoln County and the Mescalero Apache Reservation, have forced thousands to flee.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a state of emergency, noting that 8,000 people have been displaced and approximately 1,400 structures destroyed. Find the source at edition

The South Fork Fire, which ignited Monday morning, has grown from 3,000 to 15,000 acres by Tuesday. Another blaze, the Salt Fire, has burned over 5,500 acres on tribal land south of Ruidoso, intensifying the crisis.

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Residents like Eric Moro and his family described the evacuation as chaotic, with the sky turning orange and air thick with smoke. “There’s no going back right now,” Moro said, expressing concern for their newly acquired home.

Ruidoso Downs, a nearby city of 2,600 people, is also under evacuation orders due to the encroaching Salt Fire. Officials urged residents to leave immediately without attempting to save belongings.

Parts of the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation are also evacuating, including areas like Snow Springs and Whitetail. Authorities continue to monitor the situation as they work to contain the fires and ensure the safety of residents.

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