South Fork Fire consumes 1,400+ structures, kills one; Cause unconfirmed

According to officials from the New Mexico Forestry Division, the South Fork Fire in New Mexico has destroyed approximately 1,400 buildings and has expanded to cover 16,335 as of Wednesday morning.

Footage of the remnants caused by the fire can be seen below:

Tragically, the New Mexico Governor’s Office confirmed one fatality resulting from the fire.

The New Mexico Forestry Division reported that the fire’s growth on Tuesday was due to “long-range spotting,” a phenomenon where burning debris is carried by winds beyond the current fire perimeter, igniting new areas.

Weather forecasts for Wednesday predict scattered showers and thunderstorms in the affected area during the afternoon, which hopefully will aid in containing the blazes.

In response to the escalating situation, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a State of Emergency for the South Fork and Salt Fires. This executive order was enacted on Tuesday morning, June 18.

Additionally, the state Environment Department’s drinking water bureau issued a precautionary drinking water advisory on Tuesday afternoon for public water systems in Lincoln County. The advisory was prompted by potential contamination from the wildfire’s effects and urged residents to seek alternative water sources for safety.

According to last night’s fire update from the Village of Ruidoso, “Fire activity included crowning and long-range spotting, which increased the fire’s footprint from this morning’s acreage total. Today, response crews were able to directly engage areas of the fire’s footprint when conditions allowed.”

Multiple reports suspect arson as the cause of the fires. However, the official cause of the fire is “under investigation,” pending official confirmation of its source. 

Keep up-to-date on the latest updates on the fire at the Village of Ruidoso’s website here.

Ways to donate money and items to the relief efforts can be found in the below X post:


4 thoughts on “South Fork Fire consumes 1,400+ structures, kills one; Cause unconfirmed”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top