Three Rivers Fire in New Mexico grows to 6,100 acres


ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) — The Three Rivers Fire in New Mexico is now 6,100 acres in size and burning in the Smokey Bear Ranger District, which is in the Lincoln National Forest.

At this time the fire is 0% contained. There are no reported injuries and no structures have burned.

As of 1 p.m. MT on Tuesday, evacuations have been lifted in several locations, but fire officials report that it is subject to change due to fire activity and weather.

Those in the area are urged to continue to be vigilant and prepared to be evacuated again if there are any changes to the fire’s behavior.

Cooler temperatures and precipitation moved into the area earlier than forecast, which dropped rain and snow on parts of the fire Tuesday morning. Officials say they expect precipitation to lift Tuesday afternoon and for the fire to pick back up Tuesday night and through Wednesday.

“For that reason, we are not, we are going to keep evacuations in place at least until tonight into tomorrow to see how this all plays out. A sudden change in weather can change a lot of things really quick, so we are not going to outguess Mother Nature,” said Lincoln County Office of Emergency Services Director Joe Kenmore.

The owner of Runnels Bonito Stables in Bonita Canyon brought 10 of their horses to the Lincoln County Fairgrounds Monday night. “They are my livelihood. We rent them to tourists, well, yearlong. They are my livelihood. If I don’t have them, I don’t have a way to make a living,” said Sandra Runnels of Runnels Bonito Stables.

The Lincoln Forest says people in the area can expect to see more smoke Tuesday afternoon as the rain dies down. Currently, 150 firefighters are battling this fire, with more on the way.

The fire broke out Monday approximately half a mile from the Three Rivers Campground on the backside of the White Mountains of the Smokey Bear Ranger District but has spread almost to Ski Apache and into the South Fork and Bonito area.

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