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Fires Rage Through Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation

Close to 25,000 acres have been burned in two ongoing wildfires on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation and U.S. Forest Service lands in South Central New Mexico, causing mandatory evacuations, utility outages, scorched structures, and at least two deaths, tribal and state officials confirmed.

Since Monday, June 17, more than 8,000 residents in Southern New Mexico have been evacuated from their homes due to reports of two wildfires: The South Fork fire near Ruidoso, New Mexico, and the Salt fire, 7 miles west of Mescalero, New Mexico, on the tribe's reservation.

In the week since, the fires have razed 1,400 structures, caused widespread power outages, and even killed two people. Last Wednesday, New Mexico State police confirmed two fire-related deaths, with potential additional fatalities to come. Over the weekend, residents were hit by a second natural disaster-flash flooding-that limited firefighter access to the burns on Sunday, according to officials.


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