Flooding and flames: Disaster continues to impact Ruidoso-area officials, residents 

Flooding and flames: Disaster continues to impact Ruidoso-area officials, residents 

RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) – For the third day, the rains have kept the South Fork and Salt fires from significantly growing.

However, Flash Flood Warnings emerged alongside the rain, further delaying the return to town for anxious residents.

At a fire station in town, crews have set up shop. Rain has been falling all day, and some evacuees are just starting to learn what Thursday’s rain did.

GALLERY: Viewer photos, videos of South Fork Fire, Salt Fire

Barry Moffitt evacuated from the village on Monday from the flames and is now seeing what happened to his neighborhood known as Innsbrook Village.

“It took out the handrails on both of our dams, took out a new fence that was just built. The guys just built a new fence, they took it out, and so, you know, it – the mudslide was something else,” explained Moffitt.

Fire crews said the fire’s behavior barely changed due to recent rain with rain and cloud cover blending into the fire smoke. They’re trying to take advantage of that to use hand crews and bulldozers to protect homes and businesses.

Ruidoso Mayor Lynn Crawford spent part of the day with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) checking on the village’s water system. Right now, he said everything seems okay, but NMED will do tests all over town next week.

He also said he knows people are anxious to get back but is advising against it, noting it isn’t safe yet, and they need resources focused on fighting the flames and flooding.

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The mayor said, excluding some parts of town that are simply too dangerous, the village hopes residents will be able to come back to check on their property early next week.

Power remains down in the area, which is making it difficult for crews to reach residents who decided to stay.