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Some returning Ruidoso residents unable to see their homes at the moment, local businesses impacted

RUIDOSO, N.M (KVIA) -- Permanent Ruidoso residents were able to come back into the Village on Monday. ABC-7 crews saw long lines of vehicles waiting to be allowed in by New Mexico state law enforcement.

Most of the residents were worried and concerned because they didn't know what they would see when they got back home.

Official reports say the South Fork Fire has burned 17,556 acres so far and it is 54% contained. The Salt Fire has burned 7,947 acres and it's 38% contained.

More than a thousand personnel have been used according to New Mexico Fire Information.

Local businesses across Ruidoso have been giving away food, water and coffee to first responders thanking them for their services.

ABC-7 spoke with Dagoberto Ortega, a business owner at 'Taquería La Patrona,' a Mexican restaurant located at 1825 Sudderth Dr. in Ruidoso's Midtown. Ortega is originally from Juárez, Chihuahua.

He opened his business with his family a week before the wildfires began to impact the Village of Ruidoso a week ago. For him, it's upsetting but he's also grateful the wildfires affect his business.

Ortega and his family live in Ruidoso's Upper Canyon area, one of the most damaged zones by the South Fork Fire. Right now, he's still unable to see if their family home is still standing.

"What I think right now is that the biggest priority is trying to try to help out as much as we can, try to help out the community, and see what we can do to help out to get the ball rolling again," Dagoberto said.

Re-opening his business will be tough, but he wants to keep assisting the Ruidoso community and watch if his home is still standing or not.

The Village of Ruidoso reported that 11 people are still unaccounted for. Search and rescue teams continue to use dogs going property-to-property in the damaged zones, Mayor Lynn Crawford also mentioned.

Some roads in Ruidoso continue to be blocked by New Mexico state law enforcement because these areas are currently considered "crime scenes" as investigations on the cause of the wildfires are still underway.

Article Topic Follows: Ruidoso Wildfires

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Heriberto Perez

Heriberto Perez Lara reports for ABC-7 on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.


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