Over 5000 New Mexicans Under Evacuation Orders in Lincoln and Otero Counties


Village of Ruidoso by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Dept

The South Fork Fire and Salt Fire on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation, spanning Otero and Lincoln Counties is an active fire and moving fast. An immediate evacuation order was issued for the entire Village. Go Now issued at 7:38 pm on Monday, per the authorities of the Village of Ruidoso. 

The South Fork Fire ignited Monday morning on Mescalero Apache tribal land and had exploded to at least 3,000 acres by nightfall.

The South Fork Fire and the Salt Fire are burning on Mescalero tribal land, US Forest Service land, and the area surrounding Ruidoso. Both fires are being managed by Mescalero Apache Fire Rescue and Bureau of Indian Affairs. Complex Incident Management Teams are on order.

Residents of the Village of Ruidoso are under an emergency mandatory evacuation order due to wildfires in the area.

The South Fork Fire and the Salt Fire are burning on Mescalero tribal land, near Ruidoso, according to the New Mexico Forestry Division.

Per New Mexico Fire; the South Fork Fire is currently estimated at 5,252 acres and zero percent containment. Fire activity is expected throughout the night due to winds and low relative humidity. Multiple structures are under threat, and unknown number of structures have been lost. 10 Type-1 Hotshot crews are on scene or en route. Tomorrow the incident will be transferred to a Complex Incident Management Team.

The South Fork Fire was discovered at 9 a.m., Monday, June 17, 2024; it is burning on Mescalero Tribal land, US Forest Service land and within the areas surrounding Ruidoso. Fire growth has been rapid with extreme fire behavior. Long range spotting and intense heat with plume domination. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Village of Ruidoso is under mandatory evacuation. US 70 is closed from mm 249 (intersection NM 244), 4 miles east of Mescalero, to mm 258, 2 miles east of Carrizo. The only available evacuation route is on Sudderth to Highway 70, leading out to Roswell.

An Evacuation Center at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell is available at 52 University Blvd, Roswell, NM 88203 gym. People with livestock and RVs can head to the Eastern New Mexico state fairgrounds at 2500 SE Main St, Roswell, NM 88203.

Community Resources: Emergency Operations Center is now operational. For information or assistance regarding the South Fork Fire or other emergencies, please call 575-258-6900.

Residents and visitors who want to voluntarily evacuate can now seek shelter at Capitan High School at 519 Smokey Bear Blvd., Capitan, NM 88316. The Ruidoso Convention Center is not taking any more evacuations, and those that are there will shelter in place should the status at the Convention Center change.

Pets to Humane Society of Lincoln County: Address: 25962 US-70, Ruidoso, NM 88345

Mescalero Evacuations: The Tribe’s evacuation center for Reservation residents is at the Community Center Gymnasium.

Incident Map URL: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/mapviewer/index.html?webmap=e2c6d99f914c44cbb18b75e73beef035

More information about shelters and evacuations can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/villageofruidoso



Inn of the Mountain Gods, for tribal or non-tribal persons —

287 Carrizo Canyon Rd., Ruidoso NM

In Roswell:

ENMU-R Gymnasium

52 B University Blvd

Church on the Move

901 W. Brasher

NMMI Godfrey Center

101 W. College

NM Dream Center  

2700 W. Second Street

ENM Fairgrounds

RVs and Large Animals

2500 SE Main

Roswell Convention Center  

900 N. Main

Roswell Aquatic Center

1500 W. College

Acres: 5,252 estimated

Start Date/ Time: June 17, 2024; 9 a.m.

Cause: Under investigation

Location: Rio Ruidoso, west of the Upper Canyon area of Ruidoso

Ownership: Tribal

Structure Threat: Multiple structures threatened; unknown structures lost

Resources: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mescalero Apache Fire Rescue, US Forest Service, multiple aviation assets, local resources, a Complex Incident Management Team is on order for Tuesday. June 18.

Containment: 0%

Fuels: Mixed conifer

Salt Fire

Location: Mescalero Reservation, Otero County, Southwest of Ruidoso

Size: 2,815 acres

Containment: 0%

Resources: BIA, Mescalero, US Forest Service, multiple aviation assets

Fire Activity: Active

Evacuations: Evacuation orders will remain in effect overnight for: Chatto Bluff, Apache Summit, Fantasy Lane, homes along Highway 70 from Highway 244 to the east Reservation line, Bear Canyon, and Snow Canyon.

Interactive Map


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