Firefighters battle Ruidoso Flames, 5 homes destroyed - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Firefighters battle Ruidoso Flames, 5 homes destroyed

Firefighters continue to battle a massive fire to our west in Ruidoso, New Mexico called the White Fire.

It has destroyed five homes, forced evacuations including the Ruidoso Racetrack and Casino, and knocked out power to 1,000 homes and businesses. Highway 70 into Ruidoso temporarily closed.

All evacuations were lifted at 3 p.m. for people displaced by the 6,500-acre. According to fire officials, the fire is now 20 percent contained.

"We are currently putting dozer line around the fire to make sure we can get as much containment as possible. We have a combination of hand crews, dozers and engines that are working that area," said fire officials.

As threats of the fire move further south along Highway 70, firefighters will continue to battle the flames with 40 mph wind. Ruidoso local Lyne Bruyere said at one point residents were concerned when the fire looked like a city full of lights.

"We were watching it burn to the parking lot of the race track. We were hoping it didn't send a cinder over the parking lot to the casino," said Lyne Bruyere, Ruidoso local.

Bruyere said some horse owners in Lubbock called and asked her to rescue their animals near the race track.

"There is a bunch of stalls and stables there. They were calling with anybody with horse trailers to come and rescue the horses. I only heard of one horse not making it, but I think they got all of them out," said Bruyere.

Officials said the fire is only partly contained, but it is not spreading. Right now they are fighting it from the ground as well as they sky.

"The next 12 hours we have a plan laid out to continue to fight the fire directly to put some containment lines around the fire. We've also ordered an air attack platform that will allow us to have eyes in the sky and get a good look at the fire," said fire officials.

Bruyere said while fire fighters continue to work, residents in the area are conserving energy by having mandatory brown outs, because eight telephone poles burned in the fire.

"We were so lucky it wasn't any more homes," said Bruyere,

We spoke with some people in Lubbock who own homes in Ruidoso. They said they are less concerned for their homes at this point, but they said they will continue to talk to their neighbors living in the area for updates.

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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