Firefighters are making progress against a blaze in southern New Mexico, but the damage assessment of burned homes and outbuildings is rising.
The Little Bear fire has charred more than 56 square miles of the Lincoln National Forest. It's 35 percent contained.
Workers with the Lincoln County Assessor's Office say 234 structures have burned in the fire. That includes 224 homes or cabins and 10 outbuildings.
Tuesday marked the second day of assessments, and Ruidoso village spokeswoman Kerry Gladden says the number of burned structures is expected to increase as the survey continues.
Gov. Susana Martinez on Tuesday declared an emergency as firefighters hoped for a second day of favorable weather for a chance to get the upper hand on the flames.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
Start Time/Date: Monday, June 4, 2012
Location: Smokey Bear Ranger District, Lincoln NF, including White Mountain
Fuels: Mixed conifer, ponderosa pine
Size: approx. 36,237 acres
Containment: 35 %
Resources Committed: Personnel: 1,170; crews: 10 Type 1, 18 Type 2;
engines: 74; helicopters: 8 Type 1, 2 Type 2, 2 Type 3; dozers: 12; water
Today’s Weather: 85 degrees, relative humidity 12%, wind SE 11 mph gusting
to 25 mph
Structures destroyed: 234 (224 residential structures and 10 outbuildings)
Road Closures: NM 532 (Ski Run Road) at mile marker 3, east and west; NM 48
from Ruidoso to mile marker 15, north and south; NM 37 from mile marker 0
to mile marker 8, north and south
Area Closures: The entire White Mountain Wilderness, and that portion of
the Smokey Bear Ranger District south of US 380 to the Mescalero Apache
Reservation boundary, including a
large area east and north of Ruidoso to the south boundary of the Fort
Stanton Recreation Area
Meetings: Community meetings will be conducted in the main gymnasium of
Ruidoso High School, 125 Warrior Road at 4:30 p.m.,
and at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday. A community meeting
will also be
conducted at the fairgrounds in Capitan at 7:00 p.m.
Lincoln County Commissioner Jackie Powell will conduct a brief meeting
regarding the possibilities of flooding and damage
in the Valley after the Little Bear fire. The
meeting will be conducted at Hondo
School on Highway 70, Hondo, NM at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Evacuations: All campgrounds west of Bonito Lake; subdivisions of Villa
Madonna, Enchanted Forest, Nogal Canyon (Forest Road 400, campground and
summer homes), Angus, Sierra Vista, Sonterra (1, 2 and 3), Copper Canyon,
and Loma Grande; Eagle Lakes Campground, Eagle Creek summer homes, Ski Run
Road (State Highway 532) at mile marker 3, State Highway 48 to Capitan, and
State Highway 37 to Highway 380 and Ski Apache. This list may not be all
inclusive. Evacuees may contact either Alto (336-4341) or Nogal (
354-2548) post offices to arrange for mail pick up.
Shelters: Ruidoso High School at 125 Warrior Road, and Trinity Baptist
Church in Capitan.
Pets and livestock may be taken to the fairgrounds in Capitan, Pet Paradise
in La Luz, Otero County fairgrounds in Alamogordo
(575-434-0788 or 575-491-7553), Lincoln County
fairgrounds in Carrizozo
(575-808-2814), Lincoln County animal shelter in Ruidoso (575-257-9814 or
575-963-6745), DVM Faris in Ruidoso (575-257-4027),
and Dunagan Farms in Ruidoso (575-257-9549 or
Information on wildland fire smoke and your health can be found on the New
Mexico Department of Health's website at: