ST LOUIS (LALATE) – The Little Bear Fire map for Ruidoso grew overnight as more New Mexico wildfire resources were added by the Governor. The Little Bear Fire’s advancement comes after more Ruidoso area structures were destroyed over the weekend.
But in a news briefing last night, Governor Susana Martinez told local residents that they will get the complete dedication of the state to prevent the fire from destroying additional homes. Last night, she joined U.S. Forest Service officials. Martinez told roughly five hundred residents, many recently evacuated from their homes, that she hopes for new progress on Monday.
Martinez confirmed that one hundred new National Guardsmen were added to the effort on Sunday. She said that on Monday that number would grow to two hundred. She told news that communication efforts will improve, having dropped cell tower and internet communication on Saturday. She said that, between Friday and Saturday, the fire advanced an additional twenty-six thousand acres.
The governor also added three new helicopters Sunday. One will be a Medivac and two will be water bucket-enabled. The Governor received applause when she told residents that she would not be leaving the area and would have several news briefings, per day, with residents.
The fire began on June 4. But Lincoln National Forest Supervisor Robert Trujillo admitted that officials were simply unable to stop the fire’s advance. Yet no one expected the strong advance Saturday fueled by bad weather conditions. As many as twenty-six structures were lost on Saturday along. Officials, however, warned that number may still grow.
The governor advised news that the Enchanted Forest subdivisions may have been saved. She said that the fire line around Enchanted Forest subdivisions is holding. The governor added “I’m not leaving this place and we’ll have briefings several times a day.”
Meantime, Anita Foster, the Regional chief communications officer at American Red Cross in North Texas, told news Sunday that the Red Cross had yet been dispatched to the region. But Foster said that officials in the Panhandle are trained, ready, and currently prepared for a possible call. Officials are concerned the fire could advance more north, nearing the Bonito Lake community.
New evacuations could be announced Monday. On Sunday evening “Residents of Upper Canyon were called by local law enforcement, and advised to be prepared for evacuation if it becomes necessary”, officials told news. The next briefing for residents is at the High School again tonight, 7 PM Monday evening. A second news briefing it set for the fairgrounds in Capitan at 7:00 p.m.
Officials warn news that winds could also grow to today to 20 mph with gusts as strong as 30 mph. Temperatures are expected to remain high as well, upwards of 90 degrees on Monday. For the latest update and map, click HERE.