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No more people unaccounted for in Ruidoso wildfires, officials say

Update: Village of Ruidoso officials confirm to ABC-7 that no one is unaccounted for now.

Update: Village of Ruidoso officials have updated the number of unaccounted for people to 11.

Update: The mayor of Ruidoso says there are 29 people unaccounted for right now. ABC-7 is working to learn more.

RUIDOSO, NM (KVIA) -- As evacuation notices have been lifted in Ruidoso, Urban Search and Rescue crews are intensifying their search for human remains. Officials say two people have been confirmed dead from South Fork and Salt fires, with more individuals potentially unaccounted for. 

“No entry/exclusion" zones are in place, completely blocking public access, as they are now considered crime scenes.

Our news affiliate spoke to Mayor Lynn Crawford, “The hazards and danger are unbelievable," he said, urging residents to be careful when going back. "You have a bunch of dead trees that are standing and some of them are falling from the rain and the ash because of the erosion already and the mudslides and just how treacherous it is to get up some of these streets. They're moving through those exclusion zones as fast as possible so that families can get in."

Mayor Crawford also told KOAT that health professionals will be on the ground to assist those impacted by the fires. Tens of thousands of acres have been burned, and crews are continuing to battle the flames.

"We need to make sure that we don't contaminate the scene any more than it already is," said Mayor Crawford. "If the dog has a hit and then they actually find human remains, a forensics team brought in from the state police becomes a crime zone so that they can identify the body."

Article Topic Follows: Ruidoso Wildfires

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