Flash Flood Warnings Blue 2 and South Fork Fire Areas


KOAT reported that due to the Flash Flood Warning for the Blue 2 and South Fork Fires that was just issued by the National Weather Service, the Ruidoso Office of Emergency Management is pulling all operations out of the following areas:

Upper Canyon

Eagle Drive

Sleepy Hollow

Country Club

Lower Gavilan

Lower Paradise Canyon

Two Rivers

Carrizo Canyon

As the units and crews leave these areas, they will be evacuating anyone that is still in the area to higher ground.

The situation is labeled as extremely dangerous and the rainfall went over both the Blue 2 Fire and South Fork Fire burn scars. The south central Lincoln County region has experienced at least 1 inch of rainfall with some getting up to two and a half inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The emergency is in effect until 4:15 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Thunderstorms in the area are producing heavy rain over both burn scars. The runoff from the rain will cause elevated water levels to some drainages downstream of the Blue 2 Fire burn scar.

Per the US Forestry Service, yesterday fire managers were able to fly over the fire. The flight focused on assessing the status of the uncontained perimeter, which has been difficult to access. It was determined that the area of the western perimeter was not holding heat, and the percentage was increased to 91% containment. Smoldering within the fire's interior, where downed trees can keep heat for longer, may cause limited smoke to be seen throughout the summer, depending on dry weather and wind. The repair work on Soldier Mountain has been completed, and firefighters are working to complete the rest of the planned repair work.

According to their scientific modeling, the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team released their Burn Severity Map, which showed 8% moderate burn severity and no high burn severity across the entire fire area. The team will work on proposed plans for the forest to assist in erosion control and promote native plant regrowth.

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