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Ruidoso residents to be allowed to return Monday

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RUIDOSO — Residents of Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs learned Saturday that they will be allowed to return to the communities beginning Monday.

Local, full-time residents only will be allowed to begin entering Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs at 8 a.m. Monday, June 24. The Mescalero Apache Tribe issued a release Saturday stating that evacuation orders had been lifted for residents of the Windmill area, Summit Drive, Mirage Lane and Fantasy Lane off of NM 244 and U.S. 70, up to Apache Summit. All other areas of Mescalero remain under evacuation orders.

The Village of Ruidoso communicated that residents of Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs wishing to re-enter will be required to show proof of residency. Second homeowners and tourists will not be allowed to enter the area at this time.

Residents are urged to bring at least one week’s worth of food and drinking water, as grocery stores will not be operating at full capacity. The village also warned that homes may be without gas, electricity or water. Outage maps are available at pnm.com and zngc.com.

Those with respiratory conditions are warned that ash, smoke and soot are in the air. Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs are also under a Boil Water Advisory.

For more information, call the EOC Phone Bank at 575-258-6900 or visit www.ruidoso-nm.gov.

The Mescalero Apache Tribe asks residents wishing to return to the areas listed above to register with the Mescalero Apache Conservation Law Enforcement Office at 575-464-9323 or at 278 Pine St. to provide proof of residency and receive a vehicle placard. Those without power or water may call the Tribal Emergency Operations Center at 575-464-9214.

Southwest Area Incident Management Team No. 5 reported Saturday that the South Fork Fire is at 26% containment with 16,614 acres involved. The Salt Fire is at 7% containment and 7,652 acres.

Heavy rainfall in the area has greatly assisted with the firefight, but hazards continue to exist throughout both fire areas. Downed power lines, damaged water, sewer and gas lines, localized flooding, fire-weakened trees and other environmental hazards pose risks to both firefighters and the public. The Team urged extra precautions be taken by those planning to re-enter due to fire vehicles on the roadways.

Brienne Green
Daily Press Editor

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