White Fire Ruidoso, NM – 4/3/2011

2:30PM – We have just received word that a wildfire has started in Ruidoso. Details are sketchy at this time, but we believe the fire is being called the White Fire and is North of Sudderth Drive and East of Gavilan Canyon. We are also being told air tankers and bulldozers have been requested. Sustained winds of 40 MPH have been recorded in Ruidoso today.
Click here for the latest update on the White Fire from High Country Posts.
We received the following photo which was taken around 2:30 PM.

2:50 PM – The White Fire is being estimated at 2000 acres and is burning rapidly. The winds are too strong to use air tankers.

3:15PM – Residents along the north side of Highway 70 in Ruidoso Downs are being asked to evacuate.
If anyone has additional information please leave updates in the comments.

From the New Mexico Fire Information Website:
Crews in the Ruidoso Downs area are fighting a 2 to 3,000 acre wildfire. The fire has forced the evacuation of homes along the north side of Highway 70 in Ruidoso Downs as well as the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino. No structures reported destroyed at this time. The fast moving fire is putting up large amounts of smoke that can be seen from Lincoln, Capitan, Ruidoso and other area communities. The Pecos Zone Type III Incident Management Team has been ordered up to take command of the fire.

3:45PM – We got a report that everyone from Gavilan Canyon to 10 miles east of the “Y” and 5 miles north of Highway 70 are to evacuate and the fire is burning towards Rancho Ruidoso now. Evacuees can go to the Gateway Church of Christ on 415 Sudderth Drive in Ruidoso. We urge everyone in the area to get the latest updates from local law enforcement and local radio stations. All our information is second hand and may not be 100% reliable.

5:00PM – We have been told there are currently 70 firefighters fighting the fire.

5:40PM – Highway 70 is being closed in Ruidoso Downs. Horse trailers are needed to evacuate horses from the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack. Call the Ruidoso Downs Police Dept. at 575 378-4001 if you can help. We are also getting reports that several structures have been destroyed.

6:15PM – The River Ranch Campground across from Fox Cave on Highway 70 is being evacuated. Authorities are asking everyone to assist them by staying out of the area and refraining from using their cell phones.

7:55PM – A public meeting is being held at 9:00PM tonight at the Ruidoso High School to discuss plans for fighting the White Fire. 5 homes and several barns have been destroyed.

9:00PM – Structure protection in place or evacuations called for – Ruidoso Gardens, Spaghetti Flats, Homestead Acres, Ruidoso Downs, River Ranch and Lower Eagle Creek. Evacuees are being sent to Gateway Church of Christ and the First Baptist Church. Fire is wind driven and has changed directions several times. Gavilan Canyon has been shut down at Hwy 48. Highway 70 has been closed between mile marker 265 and 271. A power transmission line going to Alto has been damaged by the fire leaving one substation to serve Alto, Capitan and Carrizozo. Otero County Electric Co-op is urging conservation of electricity in these communities until repairs can be made. Ruidoso schools announced there will be no classes Monday due to the White Fire.

KWMW 105.1 FM is giving fire and evacuation updates as they get them. You can listen to this station online at: http://radio.securenetsystems.net/radio_player_large.cfm?stationCallSign=KWMW

Links to more photos, videos, and news stories on the White Fire:

White Fire pictures courtesy of Hannah and Jordan Harrison (click on image to enlarge)


  1. Comment by hannah harrison:

    I thought there was only a few stray fires but now that it is getting darker I see there are many. The usually bare mountain looks like a city of lights.

  2. Comment by Ellie Hoffman:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have already lost their homes. Hopefully they are able to contain it before it causes more damage.

  3. Comment by Jan Hart:

    Our church, here in Pittsburgh, is praying for all of the residents and especially the firefighters. Sending hugs across the miles…

  4. High Country Posts
    Comment by High Country Posts:

    Hannah, thanks for all the pictures and updates of the White Fire today. Stay safe!

  5. Comment by Deon:

    Prayers from Iowa Park,Texas. Ruidoso is a strong community that helps each other.
    God Bless each and every one of you.

  6. Comment by ken berry:

    It’s 2:30 am and I’m trying to get to sleep. I’m staying at the Lodge at Ruidoso which most graciously provided free rooms for evacuees of the fire. Not really a huge deal but at times like these it’s the kind of thing that reaffirms my faith in humanity. People. One less thing for me to worry about. I want to say thank you. “Thank You”.

  7. Comment by hannah harrison:

    I agree! Its great what they are doing, all hotels should! I recomend travelers support them with their business

  8. Comment by Tom Belverud:

    We have family visiting in Ruidoso in July….they will stay at the Lodge at Ruidoso to show our thanks for their support to the community…. Thanks