Governor declares emergency due to New Mexico wildfire

Published: Tuesday, June 12 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

RUIDOSO, N.M. — Gov. Susana Martinez has declared a state of emergency in southern New Mexico's Lincoln County, where firefighters are battling a blaze that has charred 56 square miles and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate.

The governor says crews are working around the clock and that the Little Bear fire has already taken "an enormous toll" on the county.

The emergency declaration signed Tuesday makes funding and additional resources from the state available for fire operations and community support.

Firefighters are hoping cooler, slightly more humid weather will enable them to continue making progress against the fire.

Nearly 1,000 firefighters and more than 200 National Guardsmen are battling the blaze.

The fire is about 30 percent contained, but the town of Ruidoso remains on alert for possible evacuation.

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