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FBI Joins Investigation into Ruidoso Fires Amid Rising Concerns over Potential Human Involvement

FBI Agents Investigating Fire

FBI Called in to Assist in Investigating Ruidoso Fires

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed on Friday that it has joined state, federal, and tribal investigators to determine the cause of the fierce forest fires in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Authorities are asking anyone with information that could aid their investigation to contact the federal agency.

An Overview of the Devastating Fires

The South Fork Fire was first reported Monday morning on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, west of Ruidoso. Despite initial containment efforts, it quickly spread, covering upwards of 20 acres in the first four hours. Later that same day, a second fire, dubbed the Salt Fire, was reported in Otero County, southwest of Ruidoso, on the same reservation. It too, rapidly gained momentum, consuming more than 35 acres in its first hour.

In a surprising twist, the fires expanded drastically on Monday evening. The South Fork fire reached an alarming 2,250 acres and the Salt fire extended to 1,751 acres. By the following morning, South Fork and Salt fires had ballooned to 13,921 and 4,876 acres, respectively.

Rain has partially helped to suppress the fire, but it is also hampering firefighting efforts. Local authorities are currently worried about potential flooding.

Local Response to the Crisis

Ruidoso Mayor Lynn Crawford expressed concerns about the dangers of flooding due to the rain. “The village is bracing for flooding this weekend, and that’s the principal reason why evacuees are still not allowed back to their homes”, she explained. She emphasized the need to prevent further disaster scenarios, given the already strained resources in the state and neighboring localities.

With no official cause for these fires yet established, the entry of the FBI indicates that the possibility that these fires are human-caused is still being considered. “I don’t know what services they’re going to offer, I haven’t been briefed on what their capacity is. So, we’ll bring those into the unified command, which will be operated out of the EOC,” Mayor Crawford stated. The EOC, or Emergency Operations Center, serves as the command post for local leaders and firefighting teams.

The Current Status of the Fires

As of the current reporting, the South Fork and Salt fires have collectively consumed an estimated 24,000 acres. The dual fires are primary focuses for the state’s emergency teams and now federal authorities. There remain two reported fatalities as a result of the region’s ongoing fires.

The FBI’s involvement not only signals the severity of the situation but also highlights the need for a thorough and comprehensive investigation to determine the cause of these fires. Further updates regarding the investigation’s progress and the containment efforts for these devastating fires will be forthcoming.


FBI Joins Investigation into Ruidoso Fires Amid Rising Concerns over Potential Human Involvement

HERE Irmo
Author: HERE Irmo

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