Cause of Three Rivers Fire origin remains unknown


Photo by Ozzie Carrillo/KTSM 9 News.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Emergency response teams are gaining ground where a wildfire broke out near Ruidoso camping grounds over a week ago.

Officials say nearly half of the fire has been contained after it spread more than 7,000 acres in Lincoln County. But investigators still don’t know the origin of the fire.

Researchers with the Burned Area Emergency Response began evaluating scorched areas and are assessing how to rehabilitate the land. Wildlife biologists and botanists are also checking habitats for endangered animals and plants.

Officials with the National Forest Service anticipate 2021 will be an “above normal” fire year for all of Southern New Mexico due to extreme drought conditions. That reality is influencing fire restrictions for camping areas and other activities throughout the forest area.

Wintry and wet conditions helped slow the spread of the wildfire just as it began spreading throughout the area. On April 26, the fire had grown from 30 acres to 4,000 acres within hours causing road closures and evacuations between Ruidoso and Carrizozo.

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