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Wood artist suffers effects of Ruidoso wildfires

RUIDOSO, NM (KVIA) -- Scores of business owners have lost thousands of dollars since the Wildfires began in the region in and around Ruidoso.

Michael Free, owner of "Free Designs", along Highway 70 in Ruidoso, has been cutting his wooden art that reflects elements of the forest for decades.  However, he's literally gone a week without a customer because of the closures to the town and the lack of tourists as the wildfires continue.

"It's our busiest season right here," said Free, with his chainsaw in hand, "June July and August is our busiest season.  You new know what you're gonna' make."

Free tells ABC-7 he estimates thousands of dollars of lost revenue, if not tens of thousands.

"The week before the money I made 3 thousand dollars," said Free, "It's good money.  It -was- (good money)."

Free estimated the term "was" because he fears it may not be the same in the future as tourists may be hesitant to return to Ruidoso after the wildfires.

"It's horrible, man," said Free. "There's gonna be a lot of (businesses) closed. They're all in trouble. We're all in trouble right now. It's gonna' come back, but, it's gonna' take a long, long time."

Article Topic Follows: Ruidoso Wildfires

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Paul Cicala


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