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Governor declares state of emergency in Lincoln County and the Mescalero Apache Reservation due to wildfires 

Jun 18, 2024 | Press Releases

SANTA FE – Today, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a state of emergency in Lincoln County and the Mescalero Apache Reservation and deployed additional National Guard to the area in response to the devastating South Fork Fire and Salt Fires.

These wildfires, which ignited yesterday, have damaged more than 500 structures and led to the evacuation of the entire Village of Ruidoso. Further evacuations in nearby communities are possible. The fires have consumed nearly 20,000 acres and are currently 0% contained.

The magnitude of the fires is beyond local control and requires immediate state intervention to protect public health, safety and welfare. The governor’s emergency declaration unlocks additional funding and resources to manage this crisis. The fires’ cause remains under investigation.

“The horrific South Fork Fire and Salt Fire have ravaged our lands and property, and forced thousands to flee their homes,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “We are deploying every available resource to control these wildfires, and to provide support to the Village of Ruidoso, the Mescalero Reservation and surround areas. I extend my deepest appreciation to the courageous firefighters battling these blazes, as well as everyone who has pitched in to help a community in crisis. I urge everyone to heed official orders at all times to stay safe.”

Key provisions of the executive orders include:

  • The State’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) is tasked with coordinating all requests for assistance and responses.
  • Deployment of National Guard to provide military support to civil authorities as needed during this emergency.
  • All Cabinet Departments and agencies under gubernatorial control are directed to provide necessary assistance as required by DHSEM or the state Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

The Southern New Mexico Community Foundation in partnership with the Community Foundation of Lincoln County, the Greatest Needs Impact Fund is currently directing efforts to Lincoln and Otero counties. This fund provides financial resources to support the immediate and long-term recovery needs for the people, animals, and places affected by the devastating wildfires in Southern New Mexico. The fund is also supported by the ongoing Shelter Fund, New Mexico Wildfire Relief Fund, and Emergency Action Fund held within the Albuquerque Community Foundation. Our hearts are with our communities and neighbors in Lincoln and Otero. Those wishing to contribute can do so here.

Evacuation of large animals/livestock:
ENM Fairgrounds, 2500 S.E. Main, in Roswell, and Lea County Fairgrounds, 101 S. Commercial Street, Lovington, are offering stable space and RV hookups. Contact Lea County Fairgrounds Director Wyatt Duncan at 575-333-0252.

Shelters are available at the following locations:

  • The Inn of the Mountain Gods Convention Center, 287 Carrizo Canyon Road, Mescalero
  • Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Gym, 52 B University Blvd.
  • Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, 2500 SE Main St., Roswell
  • New Mexico Military Institute Athletic Center, 101 W College Blvd., Roswell
  • Church on the Move, 901 W. Brasher Rd., Roswell
  • Church on the Move Dream Center, 2700 W. Second, Ruidoso
  • Capitan High School, 519 Smokey Bear Blvd., Capitan
  • Carrizozo High School, 800 D Ave., Carrizozo
  • Christ Community Church, 2960 N Scenic Dr., Alamogordo

The New Mexico Military Institute, 101 W. College Blvd, and Roswell Civic Center, 912 N. Main Street, are accepting evacuees sheltering with leashed pets.

Individuals sensitive to wildfire smoke should take precautions and use the New Mexico Department of Health 5-3-1 Visibility Method to determine if it’s safe to be outside. Learn more at
Check current smoke conditions in your area here:

A press conference will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Santa Fe and livestreamed on the governor’s Facebook page:

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The Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is located on the fourth floor of the New Mexico State Capitol in Room 400.

490 Old Santa Fe Trail Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Phone: (505) 476-2200
Toll free: (833) 520-0020

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