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Three Rivers Fire holds steady at 12,000 acres

KOAT Albuquerque logo KOAT Albuquerque 4/30/2021
a close up of a hill: three rivers fire © Pam Bonner three rivers fire

The Three Rivers Fire burning near Ruidoso is holding steady at 12,000 acres as of Wednesday evening at 8:00 p.m.

On Tuesday the fire doubled in size from 6,100 that morning to 12,000 that evening. But Wednesday's moisture in the area has helped crews fighting the blaze.

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The fire is currently 5 percent contained, as of Wednesday evening.

Fire crews from all over New Mexico, including from the states of Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, among others are coming in to help tackle the flames.

The Ruidoso Convention Center is being transformed into the incident command center for fire personnel.

Earlier Tuesday officials lifted an evacuation order for some of the areas impacted by the blaze.

Evacuations have been lifted for the following:

  • Ski Run Road up to the Eagle Lakes turn
  • Villa Madonna
  • The Bonito corridor below the Bonito Lake dam (Tanbark will remain CLOSED as it is above the dam)
  • Nogal Canyon Road up to the Nogal Peak trailhead AND all inhabited areas west of Highway 37 including
  • Loma Grande
  • Cora Dutton Road
  • Ranchman‚Äôs Camp
  • Magado
  • The Church Mountain area will also be OPEN

Officials warn that this is subject to change due to fire and activity levels.

The Three Rivers Fire started burning Monday morning and quickly swelled from 30 acres that morning to 4,000 acres that afternoon.

The fire started about half a mile from the Three Rivers Campground on the backside of the White Mountains. But the fire has spread to near Ski Apache and into the South Fork area.

Officials say the fire is being driven by steep terrain and extreme fire conditions, including gusty wind and low humidity levels. Nearly 60 mph winds were reported in the area Monday.

At this time there is no known cause for the fire but it is currently under investigation.

The fire has hit the burn scar area of the 2012 Little Bear Fire. Officials say that this is a good thing because there is less fuel for the Three Rivers Fire to burn now.

The Little Bear Fire burned over 40,000 acres in that area.

Multiple agencies including ground crews and air tankers are helping battle the blaze.

There have been no reported injuries at this time and no structures have been burned.

The following evacuations centers have been set up:

  • Nazarean Church Camp at 200 Bonito Park Road, Alto, NM 88316
  • Capitan Senior Center at 412 Tiger Drive, Capitan, NM 88316
  • Ruidoso Downs Senior Center at 393 Highway 70 West Road, Ruidoso Downs, NM 88346.
  • Evacuees with livestock can take their animals to Lincoln County Fairgrounds at 101 Fifth St., Capitan, NM

READ THE FULL STORY:Three Rivers Fire holds steady at 12,000 acres

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