Home News Local News Three Rivers Fire driven by high winds, dry conditions

Three Rivers Fire driven by high winds, dry conditions


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Personnel from Lincoln County fire departments and the U.S. Forest Service worked Monday to battle a fast-moving wildfire that prompted evacuations from several nearby areas.

An update from the Forest Service late Monday afternoon said a Type-1 incident management team will take command today of the response to the Three Rivers Fire. The blaze, which was first discovered Monday morning a half mile north of the Three Rivers Campground, had grown to 4,000 acres by Monday evening and was zero percent contained. It had nearly reached the Ski Apache and South Fork Bonito areas.

Laura Rabon, public affairs officer with the Forest Service, said that in a matter of hours after the fire was discovered it had grown from 30 to 4,000 acres due to a combination of heavy winds, dry conditions and rugged terrain.

Three additional large air tankers and ground crews are slated to arrive to battle the fire as soon as possible, according to the update.

No injuries or burned structures associated with the fire had been reported as of Monday evening, but evacuation orders were in place for the Nogal and Bonito Canyon areas, along with Tanbark, Ranchman’s Camp, Church, Loma Grande, Cora Dutton, Magado and Ski Apache.

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Ski Run Road, Bonito Canyon Road, Nogal Canyon Road and the Three Rivers Trailhead and Campground were also closed.

The update states evacuation centers have been established at the Nazarene Church Camp at 200 Bonito Park Road in Alto; the Capitan Senior Center at 412 Tiger Drive; and the Ruidoso Downs Senior Center at 393 Highway 70 West Road in Ruidoso Downs.

Evacuees with livestock can arrange to keep their animals at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds at 101 5th St. in Capitan.

Information provided by the Forest Service states that a wide range of tactics will be employed in the air and on land to fully extinguish the fire.

A message from the National Weather Service said there would likely be smoke from the fire across much of Lincoln County through Tuesday, impacting communities such as Alto, Angus, Arabela, Bonito Lake, Capitan, Encinoso, Glencoe, Lincoln, Nogal, Fort Stanton and Ruidoso.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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