High winds, gusts expected to affect Blue 2 Fire near Ruidoso

High winds, gusts expected to affect Blue 2 Fire near Ruidoso

UPDATE: The latest estimate on the size of the fire as of Sunday morning, May 26 is 3,249, down slighly from yesterday’s estimate of 3,427.

Fire officials said Saturday night that the Blue 2 Fire is still at 0 percent containment, but the fire’s behavior has moderated and they hope to get aircraft back up and used in the operation in the next few days.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – High winds and gusts are expected to be a large factor in the Blue 2 Fire’s potential growth, which is now estimated to have burned 3,427 acres near Ruidoso as of Saturday, May 25, according to a news release sent by the New Mexico State Forestry Division.

Containment is listed as 0 percent as of Saturday afternoon, according to the Forestry Division.

But fire officials say the fire has moderated itself in the last few hours and they hope to get aircraft back up and flying in in the next few days.

The fire started off in a small canyon that was difficult to access and the main challenge has been getting boots on the ground to contain it, a spokesperson for Blue 2 Fire said. The weather with what are being described as “historic” winds are another challenge, the spokesperson said.

“The challenge we’ve run into on this fire is accessibility,” said Margo Whitt, Blue 2 Fire spokesperson. “When it started, it started down in the canyon with a 70% grade. You can’t walk on that. You can’t stand on that, and you sure can’t run a chainsaw on that. So we can’t put people in there. It’s just, it’s you know, human lives are not worth dead and downed trees.”

Blue 2 Fire near Ruidoso now estimated at 3.3K acres

A Red Flag Warning and Wind Advisory are in effect for the Village of Ruidoso for May 25 until 10 p.m.

“As a proactive precaution, Lincoln County Emergency Services has issued a new Emergency Evacuation for the Villa Madonna Subdivision. Go is also issued for area off Forest Service Road 127A, also known as Upper Eagle Creek, off of Ski Run Road and surrounding area along 523 Ski Run Road and Eagle Creek Sports Complex,” read the press release.

Current evacuations issued by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office are under effect for Villa Madonna Subdivision, Bonito Lake Road, Forest Service Road 108 and Forest Service Road 107, according to the press release.

At this time, the Angus Area, Sierra Vista and Sun Valley subdivisions on the west side of Highway 48 should also be ready for evacuations, according to the news release.

Part of White Mountain Wilderness area is closed; you can see the area closures here.

“Lincoln County has declared a state of disaster to ensure resource availability. Lincoln County Fire Service advises citizens to sign up for CodeRed even if you are not impacted by this fire. It is an important resource for local residents,” according to the press release.

There is currently an emergency shelter in place at Lincoln County Fairgrounds located at 101 5th St. in Capitan, New Mexico. For more information you can contact the Emergency Contact Center by calling (575) 336-8600.

Those who need to evacuate but cannot take their pets, you can drop them off at the Humane Society of Lincoln County located at 25962 U.S. Highway 70 in Ruidoso.

The fire started on Friday, May 17, due to lightning and has since burned down and dead trees. The containment is at 0 percent and 177 fire personnel are working on it with more on the way, according to the New Mexico State Forestry Division.

Fire crews are using “full suppression” as their tactic with the fire, according to the news release.

Additionally, another public townhall meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 25 at the Eastern New Mexico-Ruidoso Branch Community College, 709 Mechem Dr.

The situation is rapidly changing and we will be updating with the latest information.

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