Wildfires force New Mexico village of Ruidoso to evacuate homes: See map (2024)

The Village of Ruidoso ordered all of its residents to evacuate: 'Please do not try to gather belongings or protect your home - GO NOW'.

Julia GomezUSA TODAY

Two wildfires burned through thousands of acres in New Mexico and residents were ordered to evacuate as the fires developed rapidly. Videos show smoke from the fire billowing into the sky, looking like orange clouds, as people watch nearby.

"I strongly urge residents of Ruidoso and the surrounding areas to remain calm and heed official instructions to help minimize risk," said New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in a statement on Tuesday.

The South ForkFire and the Salt Fire were discovered on Monday. The fires, which are burning on tribal land, prompted mandatory evacuations for the entire Village of Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs, a two-hour drive southeast of Albuquerque.

The cost of the damage done by the fires is unknown, according to USA TODAY's data.

By early Monday evening, the flames damaged multiple structures, statesthe New Mexico Forestry Division, but how many remains unknown.

"My administration is in close contact with state, tribal and federal officials about the status of these fast-moving fires, and we are quickly deploying as many resources as possible to protect people and property," said Grisham.

Wildfires force New Mexico village of Ruidoso to evacuate homes: See map (3)

Wildfires force New Mexico village of Ruidoso to evacuate homes: See map (4)

Entire New Mexico village told to evacuate as fire spreads

An emergency evacuation order was issued for the village of Ruidoso, New Mexico, as the South Fork Fire grew to more than 5,000 acres.

Map of New Mexico wildfires

Which communities are being evacuated?

The following areas are under mandatory evacuation orders, states the Village of Ruidoso's website:

  • All of Ruidoso Downs
  • All of the Village of Ruidoso
  • All the areas "west of Highway 48"
  • All of Alto "up to the Outlaw Golf Course"
  • All of Gavilan Canyon Road from Highway 48 "to McDonald's."
  • Alpine Village
  • Alto Lakes
  • Brady Canyon
  • Cedar Creek
  • Lower Eagle Creek
  • Ponderosa Heights
  • Sierra Vista
  • Ski Run Road
  • Sonterra 1, 2, and 3
  • Sun Valley
  • Upper Canyon
  • Villa Madonna
  • West Gavilan

The Village of Ruidoso is demanding people leave immediately.

"Please do not try to gather belongings or protect your home - GO NOW," the Village of Ruidoso said in a post on X.

What streets in Ruidoso are closed?

The following roads and highways are closed to traffic, said the village in another tweet:

  • Highway 70 closed from Highway 244 to the east Reservation line.
  • Highway 48 is closed from Alpine Village to State Highway 220.
  • State police closed Carrizo Canyon Road to all traffic.

Evacuation routes:

"The evacuation route is via Highway 70 and out towards Roswell," states the city's website.

Wildfires force New Mexico village of Ruidoso to evacuate homes: See map (5)

Wildfires force New Mexico village of Ruidoso to evacuate homes: See map (6)

Wildfire smoke fills sky over Ruidoso as evacuations ordered

An emergency evacuation order was issued for the village of Ruidoso, New Mexico, as the South Fork Fire grew to more than 5,000 acres.

Where can people in Ruidoso evacuate to?

The following locations are open to people evacuating, according to multiple tweets from the village:

  • ENMU-Roswell gym: The Red Cross set up an emergency shelter for evacuees. If it's full, Godfrey Athletic Center is a secondary option.
  • Lea County Fairgrounds: The location has Stables and RV hookups, but the village asks that people contact Fairgrounds Director Wyatt Duncan at 575-333-0252.

Other places evacuees can go to according to the village's website:

  • Capitan High School- Capitan, New Mexico, 88316
  • Carrizozo High School- 800 D Ave., Carrizozo, New Mexico, 88301
  • Christ Community Church- 2960 N. Scenic Drive, Alamogordo, New Mexico, 88310
  • Church on the Move- 901 W. Brasher Road, Roswell, New Mexico, 88203
  • Church on the Move Dream Center- 2700 W. 2nd St, Roswell, New Mexico, 88201
  • Eastern New Mexico University- 52 University Blvd., Roswell, New Mexico, 88203
  • Godfrey Athletic Center- 101 W. College Blvd., Roswell, New Mexico, 88201
  • Inn of the Mountain Gods- 287 Carrizo Canyon Road, Mescalero, New Mexico, 88340

Shelters for the animals of evacuees:

THe following locations provide shelters to animals, according to the village:

  • Mescalero Rodeo Grounds, for livestock- Rodeo Grounds Road, Mescalero, New Mexico, 88340
  • Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds- 2500 S.E. Main St., Roswell, New Mexico 88203
  • Lea County Fairgrounds- 101 S. Commercial St., Lovington, New Mexico 88260

Emergency operations relocated

"The Emergency Operations Center for the Ruidoso Fire Department has been relocated to the County Courthouse in Carrizozo," said the Village of Ruidoso.

They can be reached at the following lines for information:

  • 575-937-7785
  • 575-973-5604
  • 575-973-8977

Contributing: Adam D. Young, Alex Driggars; Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Julia is a trending reporter for USA TODAY. She has covered various topics, from local businesses and government in her hometown, Miami, to tech and pop culture. You can connect with her onLinkedInor follow her onX, formerly Twitter,InstagramandTikTok: @juliamariegz

Wildfires force New Mexico village of Ruidoso to evacuate homes: See map (2024)

FAQs

What started the Ruidoso fire in 2024? ›

Federal officials announced Wednesday that lightning caused the larger of two fires that destroyed hundreds of structures in the Ruidoso area last month. The Bureau of Indian Affairs said the investigation into the South Fork Fire — which burned more than 17,000 acres — has been completed.

What caused the fire in Ruidoso, NM? ›

RUIDOSO, N.M. -- A lightning strike caused the larger of two wildfires that has killed at least two people and destroyed or damaged more than 1,400 structures in New Mexico, authorities said Wednesday.

Are the fires in Ruidoso contained? ›

The South Fork Fire, which is currently 87% contained, burned 16,569 acres, while the Salt Fire ravaged 7,939 acres and is 84 percent contained. According to the SWIMT5's report, 354 people are still actively working the fire, including three crews, one helicopter, six engines, two bulldozers and four water tenders.

What caused the South Fork Fire? ›

The South Fork fire was reported around 1 p.m. Thursday and was caused by lightning.

How big was the Little Bear Fire in Ruidoso NM? ›

The Little Bear Fire wildfire in New Mexico on June 4, 2012 burned 44,330 acres and 254 buildings, making it the most destructive of human structures wildfire in the state's history.

Why is Ruidoso flooding? ›

Monsoon rain combined with burn scars from the South Fork and Salt Fires created a chaotic scene — an SUV submerged in floodwaters with a driver trapped inside, fast-moving water gushing from windows of shops and restaurants, and people carried to safety by National Guard tactical vehicles.

How did the McBride fire in Ruidoso start? ›

McBride fire near Ruidoso, N.M. caused by tree falling on power lines.

How did the black fire start in New Mexico? ›

The cause of the Black Fire was noted as human-caused, igniting in the Gila National Forest in May 2022. The fire led to the evacuation of nearby Truth or Consequences, destroyed structures and took upward of 600 personnel to contain.

What are the largest fires in NM history? ›

The Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire burned over 300,000 acres two years ago, becoming the largest fire in New Mexico history.

Is the fire in Sequoia National Park contained? ›

The fire was fully contained on December 16 at 88,307 acres, after storms brought substantial rain and snow. This fire burned 16 sequoia groves (almost entirely on NPS lands, with the exception of parts of Redwood Mountain Grove). Fire severity was estimated based on satellite data and sequoia grove maps.

How many people died in the South Canyon Fire? ›

The South Canyon Fire was a 1994 wildfire that took the lives of 14 wildland firefighters on Storm King Mountain, near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on July 6, 1994.

Where is the East Fork fire? ›

Incident Overview

The fire is located approximately 12 miles south of Trego, Montana.

How did the North Fork fire start? ›

The North Fork Fire was started by the cigarette of a non-commercial woodcutter in the Targhee National Forest, July 22. HOW MANY ACRES BURNED IN THE GYA, WHERE DID THEY BURN, AND HOW COMPLETELY DID THEY BURN?

What started the black fire in New Mexico? ›

The cause of the Black Fire was noted as human-caused, igniting in the Gila National Forest in May 2022. The fire led to the evacuation of nearby Truth or Consequences, destroyed structures and took upward of 600 personnel to contain.

What started the Sequoia fire? ›

The 2020 Castle Fire (part of the SQF Complex fire) started from a lightning strike on August 19, 2020 in Sequoia National Forest and later burned into the southern portion of Sequoia National Park.

What started the South Canyon fire? ›

Lightning ignited the South Canyon Fire on the afternoon of July 2, 1994. For the next 48 hours, the fire burned downslope in the leaves, twigs, and cured grasses covering the ground surface.

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