El Pasoans Should Avoid The Ruidoso Area As Wildfire Burns On
El Pasoans might want to reschedule any weekend plans to Ruidoso as fire crews continue to battle the Three Rivers Fire, which has now spread to 12,000 acres in the Lincoln National Forest.
According to forestry officials, the fire broke out on Monday near the Three Rivers Campground, spreading almost to Ski Apache and into the Big Bonito area. Overnight into Tuesday, the fire doubled in size, spreading across 12,000 acres onto Mescalero Apache Tribal Land.
Last night the crew got some help thanks to Mother Nature as snow and rain fell in the area and are expecting more of the same conditions throughout today.
Over 200 crew personnel have been onsite attempting to extinguish the flames and are set to receive additional resources to help combat the fire.
Thankfully, there are no reported injuries, and no structures have burned, but firefighter safety remains a serious concern given the area’s rough terrain and limited access.
Smoke from the fire has also permeated the area and is reportedly visible from Highway 54 and will move to the northeast into Alto, Capitan, and Ruidoso communities. Those with respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay indoors with the windows closed and use an air conditioner with a filter if possible.
El Pasoans who have plans to visit the Ruidoso and surrounding area might want to reschedule their getaways for another date out of an abundance of caution.
At this time, road closures in the area include:
- Bonito Canyon Road past the Bonito Lake Dam
- Nogal Canyon Road past the Nogal Peak trailhead
- Three Rivers Trailhead and Campground
- Monjeau Lookout at Sierra Vista
The public can follow the Three Rivers Fire Facebook page for updates HERE.
Forestry officials say that the exact cause of the wildfire remains under investigation at this time.