Little Bear Fire - Ruidoso, New Mexico.

Blog updated at 5:40 PM MDT Sunday, June 10, 2012.
Blog updated at 1:30 PM MDT Sunday, June 10, 2012.
Blog updated at 1:00 PM MDT Sunday, June 10, 2012.
Blog updated at 9:50 AM MDT Sunday June 10, 2012.
Blog updated at 1:55 AM Sun June 10, 2012.
Click On The Photos To Enlarge Them.

"Check out the flames in the "normal speed section."

My time lapse video of the Little Bear Forest Forest Fire that is burning near Ruidoso, New Mexico. The fire started near Ski Apache on June 4, 2012. I sped the movie up to 16X the normal speed, except for the clip labeled "normal speed". All of the clips were shot in the Capitan, Nogal, and Carrizozo, New Mexico areas on Saturday, June 9, 2012.

Smoke From The Little Bear Fire Spreading Into E NM & W TX.

Larry Pardue is a friend of mine who is a pilot and Storm Chaser who lives in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Larry took his plane up yesterday and shot these amazing photos of the Little Bear Fire burning north of Ruidoso, New Mexico.


Update at 1:30 PM MDT Sunday, June 10, 2012.

At least 36 structures lost to the fire, this will likely go up.
At least 26,000+ acres burned, this will likely go up also.
0% containment on the fire as of noon today.
No injuries.

"Evacuations:  All campgrounds west of Bonito Lake; subdivisions of Villa Madonna, Enchanted Forest, Nogal Canyon (Forest Road 400, campground and summer homes), Angus, Sierra Vista, Sontara (1,2 and 3), Rancho  Ruidoso, Copper Canyon, and Loma Grande; Eagle Lakes Campground, Eagle Creek summer homes, Ski Run Road (State Highway 532) at mile marker 3, State Highway 48 to Capitan, and State Highway 37 to Highway 380 and Ski Apache.

Shelters:  First Baptist Church on Country Club Road, Church of Christ on Sudderth Road in Ruidoso, and Trinity Baptist Church in Capitan.  Pets and livestock may be taken to J&J Country Church in Ruidoso, or the fairgrounds in Capitan."
Update at 1:00 PM MDT Sunday, June 10, 2012.

From KRQE-

"RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) - The monster fire still growing in the Lincoln National Forest has driven hundreds of people from their homes and destroyed at least 36 buildings as the flames spread into mountain subdivisions.
Residents at one shelter set up in the First Baptist Church were told by the U.S. Forest Service it may be five to seven days before they are allowed back in to check on their properties, KRQE News 13's Gabrielle Burkhart reported.
At last report 36 structures had been destroyed as flames blew through wooded neighborhoods off State Road 48 north of Alto. During the morning the fire jumped NM 48 southwest of its junction with State Road 37 and moved into the Enchanted Hills Subdivision.
At 8 a.m. Saturday the Forest Service estimated the fire had blackened 26,000 acres and continued to burn out of control driven by southwesterly winds forecast to gust up to 35 mph. An updated estimate of the fire's size was not expected until additional mapping can be done.
Numerous other homes stood in the path of the fire, and fire bosses reported wind-blown embers igniting tinder-dry forest two miles ahead of the main blaze in the mixed-conifer forest. Firefighters described the fire behavior as "extreme" and reported flame lengths of 100-150 feet.
The number of people forced from the area is in the hundreds, Burkhart reported. No injuries have been reported."

Update at 10:25 AM MDT Sunday, June 10, 2012.

"The "heel of the fire line on ski run road is being held. Neighborhoods at the intersections of HWY 37 and airport road and in Sonterra have been "compromised". The Rio Bontio valley and Angus church /lower copper canyon have also been "compromised". Several structures are destroyed and hundreds remain threatened. 26,000 acres burned."


Update at 10:10 AM MDT Sunday, June 10, 2012.

There has been a request for amateur radio operators to help out with communications in the Ruidoso area this morning. This is due to the sporadic phone coverage, including cell phone coverage. This failure is apparently due to damage from the fire. If you are having trouble getting in touch with your loved ones, family, and friends, then more than likely this is the cause.


On June 4th at around 3 PM MDT, lightning ignited the Little Bear Fire near Ski Apache. This monstrous fire continues to rage out of control north of Ruidoso, New Mexico tonight and is 0% contained. The fire has burned at least 10,000 acres, and I suspect that this number will rise once better mapping can be made by officials. At least 20 structures have been lost to the fire.

My wife (Diane) and I left Carlsbad this morning and drove up to the Ruidoso area to shoot some video and photos of the fire. I uploaded some of my photos above, and in a day or two I will post my You Tube Videos of the fire.

It was a heartbreaking day for us to say the least. Once we got on US Hwy 70 west of Roswell, we encountered a steady stream of campers, horse trailers, and other vehicles loaded with camping gear, and other personal items, streaming out of Ruidoso. This continued on State Hwy's 380, and 37, all day long, and into the evening when we headed back home. Ruidoso was chocked full of people. No doubt many of them were there to check on their loved ones, properties and animals.

We talked to about a dozen or so people in the Capitan, Carrizozo, and Nogal areas who had fled the fire. Many of them had left with just a few personal belongings and the clothes on their backs. Most of them believed that they had lost their homes. We watched a steady parade of people all afternoon coming and going with livestock trailers trying to rescue their livestock.

I had to choke back the tears and walk away from the conversations more than once, it was gut wrenching listening to them. As terrible as the human side of the story is, and will be, the fire itself was incredible. I was awestruck by the Pyrocumulus clouds, and as the flames topped the ridge tops they were leaping skyward upwards of more than 100'.

I don't know how much damage has been done in the Bonito Lake, Alto, and Fort Stanton Mesa areas, but I'm guessing that its going to be pretty bad.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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  1. Could you tell if the fire had burned down the highway towards the airport up there? My parents church has a camp up there on the way to the spencer theater.

  2. Craig from what we could gather from talking with the folks who lost their homes on Saturday, the fire had apparently burned all the way east to the Sierra Blanca Airport, and down the Fort Stanton Mesa.

    How much was burned, and to what extent is unknown at this time. It has been too dangerous for fire fighters to get an accurate layout of what had, and had not burned Friday and Saturday.

    The fire keeps jumping the containment lines.

  3. Craig I'm a ham operator from Roswell currently in Ruidoso assisting in anyway possible at the moment and if you are talking about the Nazarene church camp up here it has been taken by the fire

    1. The one I'm talking about is Mountain View Christian Camp. It is owned by Sunset CoC in Carlsbad.

  4. Wendell- thanks for sharing your images & thoughts. We lost our home home there. Saw it on TV news aerial footage. Our hearts go out to all those who lost their homes

  5. Very sad for all the people who are or will be losing so much, even though it is all just "things"...still important things. I certainly appreciate the coverage on one of my favorite places to camp and recreate in peace...


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