RUIDOSO, NM (KTSM) – Nearly a month after the McBride Fire burned over 200 structures, the Mayor says many families are still displaced.
Lynn Crawford, Mayor of the Village of Ruidoso, recalls when the mountain town went up in flames, as high winds blew down power lines.
“The look on the people’s faces who have been affected they’ve lost everything. I mean we literally have people that got out with the clothes on their back,” said Lynn Crawford the Mayor of the Village of Ruidoso.
Crawford shares what is was like as the fire broke out, amid winds gusting to 100 miles an hour on the pine-filled peaks.
“We were having to go door to door in the county areas to alert people that there’s a fire coming. Some people smelt it and were able to get out with one car and the family and they were gone. So that devastation that you see in those folks’ eyes, it just pulls the oxygen out. But I’ll tell you this is a very resilient community,” said Crawford.
“Right here, this where my son lived and what’s left of his and his mom and other siblings’ home,” said Ruidoso Firefighter Michael Keaton as he showed his sons trailer’s frame as the rest was gone.
“I couldn’t believe it; I mean it was just so devastating,” said Mary Blackmon who lost her home of 22 years in the blaze.
Mayor Crawford says over 100 families were displaced, many still in need of somewhere to stay, working with people who rent out their homes as Airbnb’s in Ruidoso to consider offering long-term rentals to those who lost their homes.
“From the fire, we have about 50 families that are in dire need of housing because before this tragedy there was a housing shortage so were still working to get those people in permanent housing,” said Crawford.
To help families pick up the pieces a church group called Southern Baptist Disaster Relief came from Oklahoma to Ruidoso.
“They needed help,” said Brent Headrick the Team Leader as tears filled his eyes.
“These disasters happening but life doesn’t stop people still have to go to work bills still keep coming, so to try and deal with this to get this cleaned up, is difficult,” said Headrick.
His team cleaned up what was left of families’ homes, using heavy equipment to haul away the rubble and debris.
“Right now, we’re just working on a house because we haven’t met these people. The other place we started out we were just working on a house after you meet them, your working on their home,” said Headrick.
All of those helping, volunteers. “You couldn’t pay me to do this,” Headrick said.
The Mayor says it’s just one example of how people have come together to help.
“It is devastating but it gives me hope for the future that there are a lot of really good people,” said Crawford.
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