On June 4th, 2012 lightening sparked a fire now known as the Little Bear Fire in the mountains overlooking Lincoln County, New Mexico. From there it grew to become New Mexico’s most devastating fire in history. When the smoke had cleared, this little mountain community was left with over 250 homes and businesses that were completely wiped out. Homes burned, lives turned upside down, pristine forest destroyed.
Unfortunately, shortly after the flames were extinguished, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that they will not be offering any personal financial assistance to the survivors of this fire.
In the wake of this disaster, the Little Bear Recovery Team was formed. This team is made up of all volunteers who live and work in the Lincoln County area. We were formed with the sole purpose of providing support to the survivors of this devastating incident. We are dedicated to helping each family that was affected by this fire to reach a point of full recovery from their losses. It is our earnest hope and prayer that by sharing our hearts and resources with our friends and neighbors in need, we can help them overcome the tremendous obstacles that lie ahead during this recovery period.
The road to recovery from this fire and the possible flooding is going to be long and hard. It is also going to be very expensive, especially for those who have lost more than they can personally shelter. But you can make a life-changing difference for these families.
By making a financial donation to the Little Bear Fire Relief Fund, you are giving hope to these families in need. Won’t you please consider giving a kind donation to this important cause?
100% of your donations will go directly to these families.
Ruidoso, NM (June 22, 2012): BAER assessment team members are making excellent progress in gathering data on the effects of the fire. The test results and data collected by these specialists will be used to model post-fire conditions that may result in flooding, debris flows, erosion, and damage to water systems. These surveys are being conducted on the ground and by helicopter.
Yesterday, several teams of specialists tested the burn severity of the soils in numerous areas of the fire to determine how much rainfall, if any, the ground can absorb when it rains.A team of watershed specialists and engineers are looking at the burn severity in watershed areas including Eagle Creek and the Bonito Lake area. Engineers have taken an inventory of county, state and National Forest roads in the burn area and are documenting damage to structures, roads, highways, bridges, recreation sites and other infrastructure.
The goal of the assessment team is to evaluate all potential issues associated with the burn area.
Archeologists have inventoried values at risk in the areas of Eagle Creek, Upper Bonita, Bonita Lake, and Loma Grande.
Wildlife biologists continue to look at the effects of the fire on wildlife, and damage to threatened and endangered species’ habitat. An influx of wildlife is being seen in the Village of Ruidoso.
The goal of the assessment team is to evaluate all potential issues associated with the burn area. If treatment can mitigate these post-fire concerns, then the US Forest Service will seek funding and implement treatments to reduce the impacts.
For information, please contact:
Beth Mitchell, Public Information Officer
Little Bear BAER Information: (575) 224-BAER (2237)
(Santa Fe) – As wildfires continue throughout the state, the New Mexico Department of Health’s (DOH) hotline continues to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and a wildfire resource page has been established on their website. The hotline can be reached 1-877-304-4161 for individuals with health-related questions regarding smoke to reach either a nurse or epidemiologist, and the webpage is accessible through the DOH homepage at www.nmhealth.org or directly by visiting http://nmhealth.org/CommunicationsOffice/WildfireSeason.shtml.
The hotline can be reached 1-877-304-4161 for individuals with health-related questions
“The Department maintains its commitment to providing resources for New Mexicans with smoke-related health concerns throughout this wildfire season,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Catherine Torres. “I encourage people to utilize our online resources and to call our hotline with any additional questions or concerns.”
Individuals living in areas affected by wildfires and smoke should adhere to the following DOH recommendations:
- Also be sure you have the medicines needed for your chronic heart or lung problems.with heart or lung disease, such as congestive heart failure, angina, COPD, emphysema, or asthma, need to be aware that they may be at higher risk for experiencing health problems than healthy people. If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to excess smoke exposure, including repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, heart palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your health care provider
- In areas of the state with poor visibility of three to five miles, people with heart or lung disease, the elderly, children, and pregnant women should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion and stay indoors as much as possible.
- People should avoid using swamp coolers when the smoke levels are higher than normal. Most swamp coolers have filter pore sizes that are much too large to filter out particles from smoke. The Department of Health also recommends motorists use re-circulated air while using air-conditioning during smoke events. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not vacuum because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home.