Home News Local News Three Rivers Fire remains same on Saturday

Three Rivers Fire remains same on Saturday

The incident management team for the Three Rivers Fire near Ruidoso reported 13% containment as of Saturday morning. This photo was taken the first day of the fire, April 26. (USDA Forest Service via AP)

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The Three Rivers Fire near Ruidoso remained at 13% contained by Saturday morning, with about 361 personnel and vehicles assigned to fire-fighting efforts, according to the daily update provided by the wildfire incident management team.

No deaths, burn injuries or lost structures have been reported.

The fire that originated about a half-mile north of the Three Rivers campground near the Sierra Blanca Mountains on Monday morning is now estimated at 6,951 acres.

That estimate is an increase of 1,394 acres over information released Friday morning, but represents an adjustment in data provided by the use of infrared aerial technology, not a spread in the fire. In fact, the infrared data first released Friday resulted in the reduction of the fire size from an estimated 12,000 acres to the 5,557 acres reported on that day.

The incident team update indicated that winds and dry vegetation, downed and dead trees and conifers represent continued fire threats.

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“The scattering of the multiple smaller fires inside the perimeter continue to burn,” the report stated. “As fuels dry out due to warmer temperatures and increasing winds from the southwest, smoke from the fire may be visible from the west side of the Crest Trail.”

Officials asked people in the area to be aware of traffic related to firefighting activities and to avoid closed roads.

The four road closures as of Saturday morning were Bonito Canyon Road past Bonito Lake Dam, Nogal Canyon Road past Nogal Peak trailhead, Three Rivers trailhead and campground, and Monjeau Lookout at Sierra Vista.

In addition, fire restrictions are in place in Lincoln National Forest, the Mescalero Apache tribal lands and surrounding areas, which include prohibitions on campfires outside of established campgrounds and smoking on forest lands.

Crews working to contain the fire in the past week have included the Ruidoso Fire Department, Nogal Volunteer Fire Department, Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department, Glencoe Volunteer Fire Department, Capitan Volunteer Fire Department and personnel with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, according to an incident information website that is a collaborative effort of several agencies, including the Forest Service.

On April 26, about 250 community members were evacuated, but snow and rain began that night, reducing the fire risk, and allowing evacuees to return to the area on April 27. Snow and rain has occurred intermittently several days since.

According to the incident information website, this area has been impacted by several fires in recent years. In 2019, the Pine Lodge fire burned 17,000 acres and, in 2012, the Little Bear Fire burned more than 40,000 acres and 240 structures.

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