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Ruidoso Wildfires: South Fork Fire 17,7551 acres burned, 31% contained

RUIDOSO, New Mexico (KVIA) - The South Fork Fire is now at 17,551 acres burned and 31% contained, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Meanwhile, the Salt Fire grew to 7,775 acres and remains at 7% contained.

More than 1,000 personnel are helping contain the fire.

Saturday afternoon members from the Texas Division of Emergency Management's A&M Force 1 arrived in Ruidoso and are conducting search and rescue operations.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham met with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, Ruidoso Mayor Lynn Crawford, and Thora Padilla, President of the Mescalero Apache Tribe.

Criswell says the federal government will offer assistance to those who had to leave their homes and those who lost their homes.

Governor Lujan Grisham announced that state benefits for those evacuees will not interfere with federal benefits.

Some permanent residents of certain subdivisions in Lincoln County were allowed to return to their home Saturday evening after the evacuation order was lifted.

Those neighborhoods include Ranches of Sonterra 1, 2, and 3, Rancho Ruidoso Valley Estates, and Enchanted Forest.

Authorities advised residents to use US Highway 380.

Saturday at 9 p.m. New Mexico State Police posted on X, their officers were investigating an Officer Involved Shooting on US 380 involving the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. NM State Police advised the scene was active and neither deputies or a suspect were shot.

The investigation stopped traffic along US 380 for hours as some residents were making their way back to their homes. No other details were provided.

Sunday beginning at 8 a.m. permanent residents of the Sierra Vista, Sun Valley, and Villa Madonna areas will be allowed to return to their homes.

The Lincoln County Sheriff Michael Wood advised those planning to return to their homes Sunday to use US 70 if they are returning from the East. Those who are returning from the West will need to go to Carrizozo, NM and use US 380.

The Village of Ruidoso (VOR) posted grapple trucks will haul burned debris like trees, tree limbs, pine needles and yard waste removed from properties and placed along the road's edge next to trash dumpsters, and not "in" the dumpsters.

The trucks will not pick up any type of construction material, according the the VOR post.

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Brianna Perez


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