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Mescalero Apache’s hardships from wildfires & woman’s emotions run high at shelter

mescalero apache

MESCALERO APACHE RESERVATION, New Mexico (KVIA) -- The wildfires near Ruidoso have devastated the lands that are native to the Mescalero Apache Tribe. Some tribal members have had to flee to shelters in Alamogordo to seek refuge. One woman opened up to ABC-7 anchor Paul Cicala about the hardships of being displaced from home, and away from family members while the wildfires ravage native territory.

"Where we live, we could just see the flames and the smoke, and all of the slurry airplanes just flying real low across our house. We were scared," said Sidonia Mailelle, as she explained the moments people in Mescalero, NM had to evacuate because of the encroaching wildfires, "It's beautiful land, and this is where we come from, and this is what we grow as people.  we count on the land, for food and shelter, it's very emotional."

Richard Hernandez, an associate pastor at Mountain View Church in Alamogordo, where they are sheltering many evacuees like Mailelle, said, "It goes from tears to (sniffles) to total breakdownbs, and that's even us trying to serve the community and be here for people."

Most of the shelters are in Roswell, New Mexico. However, the Mescalero Apache are also hosting tribal and non-tribal evacuees at their community center.

However, because of necessity at the time the fire began to get closer to the Mescalero village, Mailelle said she and her family fled to Alamogordo, in order to escape and get to low land. She's stayed at Mountain View Church instead of heading to the Mescalero Apache shelter because, "They've been helpful with everything. The even through a birthday party for my nephew."


Article Topic Follows: Ruidoso Wildfires

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Paul Cicala


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