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Local, full-time residents of some subdivisions will have evacuation status lifted Saturday


Update: Local, full-time residents of Ranches of Sonterra 1, 2, and 3, Rancho Ruidoso Valley Estates, and Enchanted Forest will be allowed to return Saturday at 5 p.m., Lincoln County authorities said.

On Sunday at 8 a.m. evacuation status for Ruidoso Downs, Ruidoso Downs to El Valley Loop subdivisions, Sierra Vista, Sun Valley, and Villa Madonna will be lifted. Only local, full-time residents will be allowed to return.

RUIDOSO, New Mexico (KVIA) - The State of New Mexico reports an estimated 24,226 acres burned and more than 1,400 structures have been lost due to the South Fork and Salt Fire wildfires in Ruidoso, New Mexico.

The latest update posted Saturday morning, says the South Fork Fire is 26% contained. The wildfire is in the Rio Ruidoso area, west of the Upper Canyon in Ruidoso and stretches more than 16,600 acres.

New Mexico authorities say US 70 remains closed from east Mescalero to Carrizo.

Light smoke was reported at both South Fork and Salt fires Saturday morning.

The Salt Fire is estimated to be about 7,652 acres and currently at 7% containment.

It is located on the Mescalero Reservation southwest of Ruidoso.

Fire efforts include constructing control line and point protection for private properties and other structures, according to the New Mexico government wildfire webpage.

Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for areas surrounding South Fork and Salt fires.

The Southwest Area Incident Management Team #5 says 23 crews, 94 engines, 14 dozers and 18 water tenders are currently helping with fire fighting efforts at South Fork. Helicopters and air tankers are available for retardant drops as needed and weather conditions allow.

The Mayor of the Village of Ruidoso and the Village Council will allow only permanent, full-tie residents back into Ruidoso Monday starting at 8 a.m.

Those who are considered second homeowners and tourists are being asked to give permanent residents time to return to survey their properties.

The mayor and VOR ask that permanent residents prepare ahead of time and bring a week's worth of food and drinking water.

Grocery stores are currently not at full capacity. Village leadership says there is no childcare available at this time.

A Boil Water Advisory is in place. Residents returning to their homes may find no gas, water or electricity.

The Emergency Operations Center Phone Bank has a new number for those who have questions and concerns. The new number is 575-258-6900.

Article Topic Follows: Ruidoso Wildfires

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Yvonne Suarez


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