Ruidoso Fire: South Fork Fire; Salt Fire Updates 6/17/2024...

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Published Time: 18.06.2024 - 03:05:55 Modified Time: 18.06.2024 - 03:05:55

Cause: Under investigation  Ruidoso Fire, RUIDOSO

Start Date/ Time: June 17, 2024; 9 a.m. 

Cause: Under investigation 

Location: Rio Ruidoso, west of the Upper Canyon area of Ruidoso  

Ownership: Tribal                

Structure Threat: Multiple structures threatened; unknown structures lost 

Resources: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mescalero Apache Fire Rescue, US Forest Service, multiple aviation assets, Complex Incident Management Team on order.  

Containment: 0%                                                                     

Fuels: Mixed conifer 

Date/Time/ Update: The South Fork Fire was discovered at 9 a.m., Monday, June 17, 2024; it is located on tribal land along the Rio Ruidoso near Ruidoso, NM. Fuel types in the area include mixed conifer. Multiple structures are under threat, with an unknown number of structures lost. Evacuations being issued by the Village of Ruidoso. Fire growth has been rapid with extreme fire behavior. Long range spotting and intense heat with plume domination. The fire is estimated at 360 acres with zero percent containment. The cause of the fire is under investigation.  

Operations: Currently, the fire is being managed by Mescalero Apache Fire Rescue, but the fire will be transferred tomorrow to a Complex Incident Management Team. Due to fire activity and rapid growth, hand and engine crews were unable to respond to the fire’s front; air resources have been performing drops throughout the afternoon. Multiple resources are responding to the nearby neighborhoods to perform structure protection.  

Weather: Temperature is 82 degrees, with humidity at 8% and winds from the southwest at 23 mph / gusts to 30 mph. Tonight: Smoke effects. Mostly clear, with a low around 58. Southwest wind 15 – 20 mph decreasing to 10-15 mph after midnight. Tomorrow: sunny, with a high near 86. Southwest winds 10-15 mph. 

Smoke: Individuals sensitive to wildfire smoke should take precautions and use the New Mexico Department of Health 5-3-1 Visibility Method to determine if it’s safe to be outside. at https://nmtracking.doh.nm.gov/environment/air/FireAndSmoke.html. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions. 

Evacuations / Closures: Currently evacuating Upper Canyon, Brady Canyon, Ponderosa, Alpine Village, Cedar Creek. Unknown numbers of residents evacuated at this time. “SET” status for West Gavilan, Sun Valley, Sierra Vista, Villa Madonna, Ski Sun Road, and areas west of HWY 48.  

Residents are directed to evacuate to the Ruidoso Convention Center, 111 Sierra Blanca Dr, Ruidoso, NM 88345. The Mescalero Apache Tribe’s evacuation center for Reservation residents is at the Community Center Gymnasium. 


Salt Fire   

Location: Mescalero Reservation, Otero County, Southwest of Ruidoso   

Size: 35 acres   

Threats: Yes. Hwy 70 at Casinos and 244  

Resources: BIA, Mescalero, Forest Service, multiple aviation assets  

Fire Activity: Active