If you're from El Paso you know how great it is to be a couple of hours away from the cool pines of New Mexico. Ruidoso and Cloudcroft are hidden treasures that we all run away to throughout the year. It's a great place to go to get away from the blast furnace heat of the El Paso summers. The changing of the leaves in the fall is spectacular and gets you in the pumpkin spice mood way before we're ready for it down here in the 915. And heading up for Christmas to see the villages of Ruidoso and Cloudcroft all lit up with Christmas lights is a fabulous little weekend getaway. But being in the mountains means that there is always a risk of forest fires breaking out.

Earlier this week the Three Rivers Fire broke out near Ruidoso and grew to a whopping 12,000 acre forest fire. As of Friday it is only 13% contained. Rain and snow on Thursday helped a lot but it has only slowed the fire. There are still almost 6,000 acres that are burning but it is still a very dangerous fire.

According to KVIA, forestry officials said there could be a flare up of the forest fire this weekend. The weather is expected to get warmer and the winds are supposed to kick up on Saturday. The snow and rain help but if you go up to Ruidoso you will need to be very careful and ready to evacuate at any moment. There were evacuation notices issued but they were lifted on Tuesday. The village of Ruidoso is open but with an active and barely contained forest fire, you never know when things could change.

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If you have Ruidoso plans make sure you check to see that wherever you are staying is safe from the fires, that you have an evacuation plan ready, and that you keep your phone charged at all times in case you need it. You should also let someone know where you are at all times in case something goes wrong and they need to notify authorities about where you last were.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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