Fire in Ruidoso Forces Evacuations

The Swallow Fire started in Ruidoso near the intersection of Highway 70 and Highway 48 and moved east on the south side of Highway 70, fanned by high winds. The fire reportedly started around 3 PM today, June 16, 2011. Structures have been destroyed. There is a mandatory evacuation in effect for the area from Pinecliff Village to DiPalo Drive which is directly across Highway 70 from the Ruidoso Downs racetrack. An evacuation center has been set up at Gateway Church of Christ. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Police are asking citizens to stay clear of the area.
If you have a horse trailer and can help evacuate livestock please go to the Incident Command Center at the Dollar General store or call 575 258-5784. Dunnagan Farms has offered pasture for livestock that need to be evacuated.
Early Years Child Care has been evacuated and the children were taken to Casa Alegre at 229 Rio St. in Ruidoso. 575 937-3259.
Update 5:15 PM Fire Officials have reported the fire is under control, but not contained as there are many hotspots still burning within the perimeter. Highway 70 is closed in the area of the fire. Unofficial reports indicate 8 structures were destroyed. Livestock have been evacuated and horse trailers are no longer needed. Go to Ruidoso News and Ruidoso Free Press for pictures of the fire and more information.
There was another fire reported on Highway 244 at mile post 23 on the Mescalero Reservation. The only information we have is it is under one acre in size and there are high winds in the area.