Little Bear Fire Consumes Nearly 35,000 Acres


The Little Bear Fire sparked by lightning June 4 near Ruidoso in the Smokey Bear Ranger District, Lincoln National Forest remains o percent contained.

The massive blaze has burned some 34,651 acres of mixed conifer and ponderosa pine and destroyed about 35 structures as of this morning.

There are currently eight Type 1 and Type 2 crews comprised of 429 firefighters battling this inferno with 47 fire engines, seven water tenders, five dozers and two Type 1 helicopters.

Road Closures:

  • N.M. 532 (Ski Run Road) at mile marker 3, east and west;
  • N.M. 48 from mile marker 8 to mile marker 13, north and south;
  • N.M. 37 from mile marker 0 to mile marker 8, north and south; and
  • N.M. 220 from mile marker 1 to mile marker 13, north and south.

Area Closures:

  • The entire White Mountain Wilderness and that portion of the Smokey Bear Ranger District south of N.M. 380 to the Mescalero Apache Reservation boundary.


Strong winds kept aircraft grounded most of Sunday. Dozer crews were successful in construction of direct containment line on the northeastern flank.

Crews held and improved containment lines along Crest Trail on the northwest side of the fire, however progress was slow.

Some movement of the fire was observed north toward Nogal Canyon, and south toward Buck Mountain.

A transition to lighter fuels on the northern front will make containment easier. The south end of the fire, near the ski area is the most challenging.

Fire moved south across Forest Road 532. A plan is in place to extend a dozer line to contain this movement. Structure protection was in place around the ski area today.

Residents of Upper Canyon were called by local law enforcement, and advised to be prepared for evacuation if it becomes necessary.

A community meeting will be conducted at 4:30 p.m. today in the main gymnasium of the Ruidoso High School at 125 Warrior Road, to discuss status of the fire and firefighting activities.

Another community meeting will be conducted at 7 p.m. at the same location.

A community meeting will also be conducted at 7 p.m. today at the fairgrounds in Capitan. 


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), 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.

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.

The evacuation of Rancho Ruidoso has been lifted and N.M. 220 has been opened to the airport.


Ruidoso High School at 125 Warrior Road, and Trinity Baptist Church in Capitan.

Pets and livestock may be taken to J Bar J Country Church in Ruidoso, or the fairgrounds in Capitan.

The Incident Management team is working with the State Emergency Operations Center and the Lincoln County Emergency Manager to assemble a damage assessment team.

As soon as it is safe to enter the burned area, the exact number and condition of structures within the area will be determined.

Those concerned about status of their property may contact Kathy with American Red Cross at 575-420- 8954, and leave their contact information. This information will be passed on to the County Sheriff’s Office.

Fire information is available at: 575-258-6900.

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