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)


What caused the Ruidoso fire in 2024? ›

Ruidoso fire cause

The cause of the fires remains unknown. FBI officials have asked anyone with information on the cause of the fires to contact the agency by calling 1-800-225-5324 or online at tips.fbi.gov.

How many homes were burned in Ruidoso, New Mexico? ›


Roughly 1,400 structures are lost due to the Salt and South Fork wildfires burning in Lincoln County. According to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, it's believed that 500 homes have been lost.

Where is the fire in Ruidoso, NM? ›

The South Fork and Salt fires broke out June 17 on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, with the South Fork Fire burning east toward and into Ruidoso and to the north of the town. The Salt Fire burned east and south of Ruidoso, prompting the evacuation of nearby Ruidoso Downs, a community of around 2,600.

How did Ruidoso NM fire start? ›

Monday, with the Salt fire at about 2 p.m. The Lincoln County Disaster Declaration issued on Monday states that the wildfires were “caused by lightning strikes,” although the New Mexico State Forestry Division said the cause of the fire is under investigation. Grisham said it's too early to speculate.

Why are they evacuating Ruidoso, New Mexico? ›

The Salt Fire is one of the active fires burning in Mescalero and near the Village of Ruidoso. The fire has caused Ruidoso Downs to be moved to "Go" status. Anyone in the area is being ordered to evacuate immediately. People are being asked not to gather belongings or save property.

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

The Little Bear Fire, a lightning-sparked blaze near Ruidoso, New Mexico, was discovered on June 4, 2012. By June 11, the fast-burning fire had charred 34,561 acres (139 square kilometers) and destroyed 35 structures. It forced hundreds of people to evacuate.

Where is the big hole fire in New Mexico? ›

The Big Hole Fire, located on state and private land in the Belen Bosque in Valencia County, is now 60% contained and estimated at 890 acres.

How did New Mexico fires start? ›

New Mexico has grappled in recent years with a devastating series of wildfires, including a 2022 blaze caused by a pair of prescribed fires set by the U.S. Forest Service that merged during drought conditions to become the largest wildfire in the state's recorded history.

Where is the black fire in New Mexico? ›

Black Fire (2022)
Black Fire
Date(s)May 13, 2022 – July 27, 2022
LocationNew Mexico Sierra County Catron County Grant County
Coordinates33.245°N 107.927°W
11 more rows

How to help Ruidoso fire victims? ›

Donate to a Ruidoso fund

People looking to donate funds to Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, and Lincoln County can do so through the Community Foundation of Lincoln County's website at https://www.cfolc.org/copy-of-the-shelter-fund.

Where is the New Mexico fire map? ›

To view the NM Fire Viewer visit: https://arcg.is/TbCy

The map is populated with data from satellites and GIS layers showing current and historic wildfires. Viewers can search by active wildfire names to see the perimeters and hot spots, which are updated every few hours from satellite infrared images.

How many acres has the New Mexico fire burned? ›

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering an award for information about two wildfires in southern New Mexico that left two people dead, prompted the evacuation of thousands and scorched more than 24,000 acres.

What started the fire in Sequoia National Park? ›

KNP Complex

Lightning ignited three fires in Sequoia National Park on September 9, 2021. One fire was contained quickly, but the Colony and Paradise fires burned in extremely steep terrain with lack of trail or road access, and the high density of drought-killed dead trees presented risks to firefighters.

What started the South Fork Fire? ›

The cause of the fires remains “undetermined,” according to the latest incident status summary report published at 11:35 a.m. on Sunday by the Southwest Area Team 5.

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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