McBride Fire: Couple killed in New Mexico wildfire; 6,195 acres, 200+ homes burned
RUIDOSO, N.M. — The McBride Fire in Ruidoso has now burned 6,195 acres and claimed two lives, as of Saturday.
Crews said Thursday conditions were finally safe enough to get more air support up in the sky. Officials are confident that containment numbers could go up with the progress they’ve made.
207 homes have also been lost since the McBride Fire began Tuesday afternoon on McBride Drive. A Type 1 Incident Management Team took over the fire response at 6 a.m. Thursday. The Type 1 team responding to the fire is the top-level team trained to fight large-scale, complex incidents, including large wildfires or events of national significance. For example, Type 1 teams were called in response to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.
The fire initially began around 1:36 p.m. Tuesday and burned 4,312 acres within a few hours. The fire spread to cover 5,381 acres on Wednesday, 5,736 acres on Thursday, 6,167 acres on Friday, and now 6,195 as of Saturday.
The following evacuations have been lifted for Moon Mountain Area: High Loop, Lupin, Starlight, Old Lincoln, Nogal Place etc. East of Hull: McBride, Snowcap, Timberline, Fawn Ridge etc. Gavilan Canyon from Warrior Drive north to Highway 48, Fawn Ridge, Homestead Acres, Rancho Ruidoso Valley Estates, Deer Valley, Deer Park, Alto Mesa Estates, Deer Creek Road, Cougar Lane, Woodwind Lane, Skyhawk Lane, and the area east of Flute Player Way.
Evacuations remain in place for the following: Gavilan Canyon: From Warrior Drive south to Highway 70, and Lower Eagle Creek. The Ruidoso Convention Center is open to evacuees.
Power outages & internet access
The fire has displaced thousands of residents and has left 2,600 PNM customers without power as of Thursday evening. According to PNM, at one point, 18,000 people didn’t have electricity. The fire also cut out internet, phone service and gas.
Officials said maintenance crews are working to restore all of it, but it may take some time.
On Saturday, strong winds caused trees to topple onto power lines. PNM officials say people need to be on the lookout for downed power lines and to "not touch it, do not approach it, call us we will come out, we will assess it, we will make the scene safe."
State of emergency declared
A state of emergency has been declared for the Village of Ruidoso. If you need assistance or are inquiring about your home, the hotline number is (575) 258-6900. You are encouraged to also call the number if you’re looking to make donations or volunteer in some capacity.
Information about the fire can be found by calling (505) 356-2636.
Ways to help
Several places are also accepting bottled water and non-perishable food. They include the Alamogordo Fire Department, Alamogordo Public Schools, and the Mescalero Apache Community Center.
All Pioneer Bank branches are also accepting monetary donations, along with Revolution 120 in Las Cruces.
The Community Foundation of Lincoln County has set up a PayPal account (on the homepage of their website) for those affected by the McBride and Nogal Fires. According to the foundation website, the money will go to those who need immediate assistance. Checks will also be accepted – payable to the CFLC and “shelter fund” written on the memo line. Checks may be dropped off at the Condotel Building located at 1103 Mechem Dr. in Ruidoso or mailed to PO Box 2750, Ruidoso, NM 88355.
The Otero County Fairgrounds is also accepting evacuated livestock.
Those affected by the fires who need assistance should call the Village of Ruidoso at (575) 258-6900. You can also reach out to the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management at 1 (800) 432-2080. Press #2 for information or resources related to the fires. Press #4 for information regarding property damage due to the fires and other fire-related questions.