More people assigned to work growing Blue 2 Fire near Ruidoso

More people assigned to work on growing Blue 2 Fire near Ruidoso

Officials said Wednesday there are now 643 people assigned to work the Blue 2 Fire as it continues to grow near Ruidoso.

RUIDOSO, N.M. — Officials said Wednesday that the Blue 2 Fire is at 7,402 acres as more people are assigned to contain and control the fire.

They say 643 people are working on 12 crews, 38 engines, seven helicopters, nine bulldozers and 10 water tenders. That’s up from 533 people working on 10 crews, 32 engines, six helicopters, six bulldozers and five water tenders Tuesday when the fire was at just under 7,200 acres.

Loretta Benavidez, the public information officer for the Blue 2 Fire, said it sounds like a lot of people. However, even with everyone helping out, the fire is at a high stake in growing bigger. 

“That’s why they’re very conservative in calling containment. That’s why we’re still looking at 0% containment because you see the winds, you see the vegetation, and there’s still a lot of potential and the fuel that’s available, there’s still a lot of potential for this fire to continue moving,” said Benavidez. 

The aerial crew was very active over the fire Sunday. A video on social media showed an air tanker dropping fire retardant over the northwest part of the fire.

Hotshot crews have been igniting fuels by hand near Bonito Creek Campground on the northwest side of the fire to bring the fire safely down to the road. Crews are reinforcing the fireline with removing fuels, setting up sprinklers and connecting hand line. They also dropped fire retardant on the southern edge of the fire as well.

Benavidez says the fire is spreading northeast, and more homes may get put under the Ready, Set, Go program. She wants to urge people to not wait until the last minute to get everything ready. 

“You need to have important items, important paper, that kind of medications, packed in your car and have your car ready to go when people say go,” Benavidez said. 

More than 3,600 homes are currently under the Ready, Set, Go protocol:

GO – Bonito Lake Road, Forest Road 107 and 108, Nogal Canyon Road, Villa Madonna, Loma Grande Subdivision, Highway 127A need to evacuate if not already.

SET – Ranchman’s Camp, Magado’s Creek Subdivisions, Sun Valley, Eagle Creek Sports Complex, Angus, Ski Run, Alto Area, Eagle Creek and Sierra Vista are on SET status and should be prepared to evacuate if needed.

READY – Alto area, Enchanted Loop Community and areas east and north of the community are on READY status. That includes High Sierra Estates, Copper Canyon, Copper Ridge and Canaan Trail. It also includes Western Sonterra Subdivisions east of 48 and north and south of 37. Pine Hill Trail, Village of Capitan

“We’re just asking people to comply when they’re asked to get ready, get set or to go,” said Benavidez. 

Officials relocated the evacuation shelter Sunday to the Capitan High School, and the County Fairgrounds are still open for animals. Both shelters are open 24 hours.

The Ready, Set, Go! guide is available here.

The Lincoln County Fire Service is sharing evacuation updates here.

Officials believe the fire started due to a lightning strike last Thursday, May 16.

There is an air quality alert in effect for the area around this fire.

If you live in the Village of Capitan or are going there, moderate air quality will persist Tuesday and Wednesday. Capitan will see unhealthy air quality Tuesday evening and night if you’re someone with a health condition that makes you particularly sensitive to smoke.

It’s a similar story in Bonito. That unhealthy air quality will persist Tuesday and Wednesday in the evenings and nights.

Ruidoso, you can actually expect good air quality but some haze.