Smoke billows from the Little Bear fire near Ruidoso, NM
Such a tragedy! Only a week ago I was planning my next escape in the Ruidoso area which is much cooler in Summer than Roswell.
Last Monday, June 4, however, a fire begun after a lightning strike on Little Bear in the Sierra Blanca and spread rapidly destroying more than 69,000 hectares of forest.
An eighteen-year drought made the fire extremely difficult to contain. It took about 979 people, 53 fire engines, 8 helicopters, 12 bulldozer sand 9 water tenders to extinguish the raging fires. Increased humidity and more favorable winds helped the firefighters in their more than heroic action.
As the damage assessment begun, the Lincoln National Park authorities reported that some 35 structures have been destroyed by the fire.
The entire White Mountain Wilderness and that portion of the Smokey Bear Ranger District south of NM 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 are now closed to public. Consider this if you are planning a trip to New Mexico.
By Dominique Allmon
For more information please visit the New Mexico Fire Information website