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McBride Fire burns more than 5,300 acres, forces evacuations

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 12:32 AM CDT
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - More than 5,300 acres have burned in the Village of Ruidoso, New Mexico.

The McBride Fire broke out Tuesday shortly after noon and has burned 150 homes and structures.

Evacuations are in place as winds continue to spread the flames.

“They need moisture, they need the winds to stop, and they need all the help they can get,” said Sam Meador.

Meador owns a home and an acre of land in Ruidoso.

“My dad built the house in 1980,” Meador said.

Meador’s house sits not far from the popular shops and restaurants Ruidoso has to offer, and the fire is a little too close to the fire line.

“So we are talking walking distance from where the fire is burning to my property, so it’s close and it makes me nervous,” Meador said.

Meador lives and works about three and a half hours away in Lubbock, Texas.

“I started getting calls from friends saying, ‘The fire is really close to your property but everything is blocked off.’ Everyone was in a panic last night because they shut off the power,” Meador said.

New Mexico’s largest electricity provider, PNM, posted a video to Facebook saying the damage crews were seeing Tuesday wasn’t from the fire, but the 75 to 90 mile per hour winds in the area.

On Tuesday, ,approximately 18,000 PNM customers were without power.

The company posted a statement to Facebook reading in part, “The decision to shut off power yesterday was a difficult but very necessary decision done out of an abundance of caution to first responders and customers in Ruidoso.”

On Wednesday evening, PNM said it restoration efforts would continue into the morning to safely restore power to a remaining 7,100 customers.

Meador has offered his home up to firefighters working to get this fire under control.

“There’s no place for anybody to stay. You can imagine a town of 8,000 people there’s not many hotels, they are already all full of residents. So the people who are coming to help with this fire need a place to stay,” Meador said.

Meador said he just finished renovating his mountain home.

“I tore everything down to the studs and did it all brand new. This fire was very scary because I literally just got done with it about three months ago,” Meador said.

As the fire continues to burn, it will likely be another night of little sleep.

“Just keep praying for these people. It’s just a bad deal,” Meador said.

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