Friday June 21st, 2024 Ruidoso Fire Briefing and Updates


2nd Life Media’s Alamogordo Town News written and radio broadcast edition on has been working tirelessly around the clock to keep our 13,000 plus readers informed with factual and information verified at the source and with multiple perspectives in interviews concerning the the South Fork and Salt fires near Ruidoso and the Blue 2 Fire which continues in efforts at containment. Interviews have expanded across the spectrum from local mayor Susan Payne to a broad range of community voices. Several of those interview links will be at the end of this detailed update.

The areacontinues to be challenged in the fire fight, the recent shift to cooler and wetter weather has provided much-needed relief for firefighters working tirelessly on the ground.

However, utility outages persist, and localized flooding remains a threat, adding to the complexities of the situation. This update aims to keep residents and visitors informed about the current status of the fires, the ongoing efforts to combat them, and important safety information. 

Stay tuned for detailed insights and critical updates on evacuation orders, road closures, and air quality advisories.


  • South Fork Fire:
    • Acres: 16,349
    • Location: Ruidoso Area
    • Personnel: 1,006
  • Salt Fire:
    • Acres: 7,652
    • Location: 7 miles west of Mescalero, NM
    • Containment: 0%
    • Fuels: Mixed conifer, grass, pine/juniper

The Blue 2 Fire transitioned the Pecos Zone Type 3 team to the local unit's fire managers. It is considered 98% contained.

Utility services, including electricity, water, internet, and phones, remain shut down across the South Fork and Salt fires areas. These outages will continue to impact communications, making it difficult to contact residents and visitors

The South Fork and Salt fires experienced minimal fire behavior on Thursday due to variable precipitation and high humidity. Rainfall ranged from substantial rain and hail (up to 1.62”) to scarce sprinkles and scattered showers. The cooler weather and moderate fire conditions are expected to continue into Friday.

South Fork Fire:

  • Firefighters continue constructing firelines and using hand tools directly at the fire’s edge.
  • Hose lines and bulldozers are being used to extinguish smoldering fuels and build firelines.
  • Mop-up operations are ongoing to prevent the fire from creeping past control lines.

Salt Fire:

  • Crews are constructing control lines, preparing new lines as needed, and conducting point protection for private property and critical infrastructure.
  • Ground and air ignitions will be used to burn out fuels between firelines and active fire.
  • Damage and structure assessments are underway, with additional protection needs being identified.

Mandatory evacuation orders remain in effect for several areas near both fires. Evacuation information can be found at Road and trail closures are in effect, including:

  • Highway 48: Closed from Alpine Village/University to State Hwy 220.
  • Highway 70: Closed from mile marker 249 (intersection with NM 244), 4 miles east of Mescalero, to mile marker 258, 2 miles east of Carrizo.


A South Fork Fire Emergency Closure Order was issued on June 20, 2024, for national forest lands within the Smokey Bear Ranger District. This area is closed to public access to ensure the safety of firefighting personnel and the public. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is also in place over the fire area. More information on TFRs can be found here. Drone flights are prohibited within this area.


For more details and updates, visit Inciweb.

Stay safe and informed as we continue to address these fires and the associated challenges.


The New Mexico Department of Health has issued a call for assistance. They are in need of medical and mental health care professionals in Captian and Roswell next week to CC assist with fire victims and recovery efforts.  If you are available please email at

The Otero County Electric Cooperative has issued the following alert:

We have approximately 1,500 electric accounts in the Alto area experiencing power outages due to damage sustained from the South Fork Fire. We have identified just under 50 poles that were burned in the fire, including the main three-phase line south of Lakeshore, which feeds much of Alto Village, Ski Run Road, Gavilan Canyon, Upper Gavilan, Sierra Vista, and Villa Madonna.

We have around 60 crew members, including contractors, actively working to rebuild damaged infrastructure. Depending on the area and crews' daily progress toward repairs, members can expect outages to persist for several days. Yesterday's rainstorms, while helpful for fire suppression, made access difficult for restoration efforts.

It is difficult to give a possible time of restoration at this time, but our area line supervisor is hopeful that we can restore power to some areas of Alto by Friday night.

Our online Outage Map is up to date with all known outages. It is a good tool for determining which areas are currently affected by an outage. You can access it by clicking the red “Outage Map” button in the upper right-hand corner of our website,

You can also access the outage map and individual outage information using the SmartHub app on your phone or electronic device. Logging into your SmartHub account is the best way for an individual to determine whether they have power. If you are not using SmartHub, you can download it on your smartphone or electronic device or access it by clicking the “Pay Online” button in the upper right corner of our home page. You will need an account number and email address to sign up for access.

With a lack of phone and internet service in the area, we are experiencing communication problems with our metering software that allows us to check individual meters and pinpoint exactly which accounts are out of power. Once communication is reestablished, we will be able to check individual accounts to determine whether they have power.

No phone or internet service is also impacting members’ access to security cameras. We kindly ask that you do not report an outage solely on not being able to access a camera. Because we are unable to check meters from the office, we must send a lineman to determine if you have electric service. With so many repairs to do in order for service to be restored to everyone, pulling a crew off to check a meter because you cannot connect to your camera is not a wise use of resources.”

The National Forest Service has updated the restricted area on the Smokey Bear Ranger District, please review the complete order and closer map here:

Local Voices concerning efforts around the fire sound off on local support to fire victims and how partnerships are working together on behalf of Ruidoso fires - multiple perspectives make up our diverse community…

Lt. William Skaggs Speaks About Fires

Amanda Fry Speaks About Fires

Couy Griffin Speaks About Fires

Angela Cadwallader Speaks About Fires

Susan Payne Speaks About Fires

Debbie Cooksey Speaks About Fires

New Mexico 2nd Congressional District Candidate Yvette Herrell Statement On The Fires

District 53 House Candidate Elizabeth Winterrowd Statement On The Fires

Amy Barela Speaks On Fire Donations

Samatha Chavez Speaks On Fire Donations

District 51 House Candidate Ashlie Myers Statement On The Fires

The FBI has confirmed that it is investigating. With zero containment, the fires converging and continuing to race in a battle with multiple agencies in Southern New Mexico, 31 Miles of land scorched, 1400 plus structures damaged or lost, one confirmed death and arson is suspected as the cause.

What caused the blazes hasn’t been definitively determined, but the Southwest Coordination Center listed them as human-caused.

The Cloudcroft Reader also reported that the mayor of Cloudcroft, has claimed: “it is his understanding that the fire was intentional.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and people should refrain from speculation, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said at a news conference in Roswell Wednesday evening, June 19. She was joined by Roswell Mayor Timothy Jennings and U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury.

FBI special agents have joined the investigation into the cause of wildfires in New Mexico, the agency said Thursday. “I can confirm that the FBI is assisting our local, state, federal and tribal partners in the ongoing investigation of the fires in Ruidoso NM,” said a spokesperson with the bureau’s Albuquerque field office.

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the State of New Mexico and ordered Federal aid to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the South Fork Fire and Salt Fire beginning on June 17, 2024, and continuing.

The President’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in Lincoln County and the Mescalero Apache Tribe.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is also available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in Lincoln County and the Mescalero Apache Tribe.

Lastly, Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Mr. Robert Patterson, Jr. of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been appointed to coordinate Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Damage assessments are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance at, or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or by using the FEMA App. Anyone using a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, can give FEMA the number for that service.

Stay tuned to 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Town News written editions on via streaming at for more information and updates as they become available. 

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