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Little Bear Fire Update - Ruidoso, New Mexico. June 18, 2012.


#LittleBearFire June 18, 9am – Firefighters Begin Burnout Operation Today

Fire Information: (575)258-6900
Start Time/Date: Monday, June 4, 2012
Location: Smokey Bear Ranger District, Lincoln NF, including White Mountain Wilderness
Cause: Lightning
Fuels: Mixed conifer, ponderosa pine
Size: approx. 38,116 acres
Containment: 60 %
Resources Committed:Personnel:  1,136; crews: 10 Type 1, 15 Type 2; engines: 78; helicopters: 5 Type 1, 2 Type 2, 2 Type 3; dozers: 2; water tenders: 19
Today’s weather: 76-89 degrees, relative humidity 9-15%, wind WNW 20-25 mph gusts to 35 mph                                               
Injuries: 4                       
Structures destroyed: 254 (242 residential & commercial structures and 12 outbuildings)    
Road Closures: NM 532 (Ski RunRoad) from NM 48 junction to Forest Road 127A is open to residents only
Area Closures: The entire White Mountain Wilderness, and that portion of the Smokey Bear District south of US 380 to the Mescalero Apache Reservation boundary including a large area east and north of Ruidoso to the south boundary of the Fort Stanton Recreation Area.  
Crews will begin burning out fuel inside the containment line north and west of Rio Bonito subdivision today.  Burning will be accomplished by both ground and aerial ignition. The burnout is low intensity fire intended to consume understory vegetation, robbing the fire of fuel.  Burnout has been employed on this fire with great success. This operation will create a large volume of smoke this afternoon into late evening.  Smoke will likely drift to the southeast.  Burnout will continue for several days within the White Mountain Wilderness. Activity on the remainder of the fire will consist of patrol, mop up, and chipping of slash. Release of excess resources continues, making these resources available for other assignments. 
All subdivisions except Angus and Bonita Park are now open.  Ski Run Road and Bonita Lake are open to residents only.  Residents returning to their homes should be alert for fire vehicle traffic, and wet or damaged roads as a result of yesterday’s storms.
Evacuations:  All campgrounds west of Bonito Lake; Angus and Bonita Park
Shelters:  Pets and livestock may be taken to Pet Paradise in La Luz (575-434-1784), Otero County fairgrounds in Alamogordo (575-434-0788, 575-491-7553, or 575-491-4643), Lincoln County fairgrounds in Capitan (575-808-2814), Humane Society of Lincoln County in Ruidoso (575-257-9841 or 575-378-1039), Ruidoso Animal Clinic (575-257-4027), Dunagan Farms in Ruidoso (575-257-9549 or 575-621-4056),  New Mexico Livestock Board  (575-649-2758), Carrizozo Animal Shelter (575-648-2351), Thundering Paws in Alto (575-336-7297), and Yolanda and Robert Espinoza (575-354-9019).
Many residents of the community have expressed interest in making monetary donations to the firefighting organizations.  Local fire departments should be considered first.  Additionally, the following websites provide avenues for making donations: www.wffoundation.org, and www.redcrossnewmexico.org.
Information on wildland fire smoke and your health can be found on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at: https://nmtracking.unm.edu/eh_alerts/, or call the New Mexico statewide health line at (877)304-4161. Additional websites for accurate fire information are Facebook.com/LittleBearFireNMTwitter.com/T1SWIMT,Flickr.com.photos.lincolnnationalforest (maps), and Flickr.com/photos/wildland-fires-2012/ (photos).
As the monsoons approach, heavy rainfall may produce flash floods.  The National Weather Service Advisories are available at:  http://www.weather.gov/abq.
A predictive model for probability of thunderstorms over burned areas, known as Burn Scar Thunderstorm Threat Matrix, is available at:http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/fxc/abq/graphicast/image_full5.gif. Register for Lincoln County CodeRED Emergency Alerts at http://www.lincolncountynm.net/.
Just another day in the life of a firefighter
Yesterday, information officers met a firefighter who was feeding cats at an evacuated residence.  Pleased with his humanitarian spirit, they struck up a conversation.  Ron Miller, the firefighter, then offered to share a poem which he had written.   I hope you all enjoy it.
 Little Bear
 South of the mountains
That folks call Capitan;
We battle a large blaze
According to plan.

Though “Little Bear” is the name,
This fire is assigned;
It sure ain’t that little,
Considering everything combined!

Wind and lightning joined forces,
That made a real show;
Here in the Southwest,
In New Mexico.

  The spark once ignited,
Raced through brush and trees;
Up canyon slopes, through Wilderness,
Wherever it pleased.

The terrain is extremely rugged,
Making the blaze tough to fight;
Though we battled all day,
And into the night.

It reminds me of history,
That we all should know;
That others battled fire on the Lincoln,
Sixty-eight Years ago.

And found a young cub,
Hanging tight to a tree;
His feet badly burned,
As firefighters could see.

They rescued that cub,
And later sent Smokey to the national zoo;
He became a living symbol,
That everyone knew.

Here on the Lincoln,
In the Land of Enchantment and sun;
Fighting fire is historic,
The job’s rarely done.

Because the wind still blows hot,
In New Mexico;
Where that little bear was discovered,
A long time ago.


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