UPDATED: Little Bear Fire

Copyright SJ Reidhead - 2012

UPDATE:  All local communication has been restored. I thought I saw the Guard when I was in town.  Martinez is FINALLY doing something about this.  My humble opinion is that the presence of Steve Pearce here has helped push her into doing something more than meddling in local elections to get HER people in office.

An updated report from KRQEKOB film.

The Ruidoso Free Press has the latest information:

“...The plan to fight the fire involves flanking the blaze to the north and south, forcing the blaze to the east, and working to take an advantage in a break in the weather to get around to the front and contain it.

However, forecasts for tomorrow indicate the wind – which has been primarily to the northeast – could shift to the southeast toward Ruidoso.

Representative Steve Pearce thanked fire officials and firefighters that were busy trying to protect homes and property, and asked everyone to pray for conditions that would be more favorable to putting out the blaze.

“We’ve already heard the suggestion that there will be winds tomorrow that will be unfavorable, so that would be a topic for your prayers tonight,” Pearce said. “Let’s work together as a community, but know that the troops that are in here are doing a great job of protecting this area.”…”

ORIGINAL POST:  The Pink Flamingo is without internet service, maybe for quite awhile, thanks to Windstream.  I called.  They said it would be restored at 1:50 PM on the 9th.  The person I talked to was just out of it.  But, like she said, she was in Florida and didn’t know about fires in New Mexico.  I know that phone service hasn’t been restored because I had a call from an aid to Congressman Pearce about a half hour ago – on my cell. There is no phone service in town.

So, if comments go un moderated, and you don’t see a post or two, you know the reason.

This thing is bad, folks.  Last night it was about 2000 acres. This morning, it was at least 10,000 acres.  The Verizon tower has burned.  The emergency response towers have burned.  Windstream’s microwave system has burned, ergo The Pink Flamingo is a refugee at the parents’ using my Samsung Galaxy Tab as an internet hub, bouncing off the Verizon tower near them.

A Type I management team is in place – with the big guns.

It is not good.    Steve Pearce will be in later today.

The Pink Flamingo believes the you know what could hit the fan over this one folks.

Please pray.  I have so many friends who live in the path of this one.  It’s no where near my home,  nor that of my parents.  My mother is indoors due to her cardiac and breathing problems.  I’ve been told there’s been a run on oxygen in town.  They’re evacuating people with breathing problems out of the area.  There’s not much more I can tell you.

With luck, you should be able to pick up information from the NM inci web.

It looks as if at least 17 structures, including homes have burned.

Ruidoso Free Press

“…Resources: Resources from the Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), New Mexico State Forestry, Lincoln County Volunteer Fire Departments and Ruidoso Downs Fire and area volunteer departments responded. Currently ordered 9-T1 hand crews, 36-Engines, 3 Helicopters, 7-water tenders, heavy air tankers are expected to be available through out the day tomorrow. Approximately 350 personnel are expected to be on the fire tomorrow.

Structures Threatened: N/A

Closures: The following roads have been closed due to extreme fire activity:

-State Highway 532 Ski Run Road at Mile Marker 3

Evacuations: All campgrounds West of Bonito Lake, Villa Madonna Subdivision, Eagle Lakes Campground, Eagle Creek Summer Homes, and Ski Apache. A shelter for evacuees will be set up at the Nazarene Church on Highway 48.

Smoke from the fire is impacting the community of Ruidoso and surrounding areas so please take precautions if you have any health or breathing issues….”

Inci Web

These photos were taken yesterday at sunset.  The orange is sunset, not flame.  The pink is the sun!

Copyright 2012 by SJ Reidhead
Copyright 2012 by SJ Reidhead

This is the twilight sky from my carport!

Copyright 2012 by SJ Reidhead




11 thoughts on “UPDATED: Little Bear Fire

  1. Simply AWESOME photos… when viewed from my safe distance, that is. Not at all sure I’d like to be close enough to actually take the photographs though.

    Prayers for your safety and a quick resolution of this ordeal.

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  3. Getting ready to go out and take more photos. I feel like a vulture doing it, with so many people suffering. I have a friend who lost everything but her cats. We Josie’s home is safe. This thing is a monster. The politics of it are beyond – much of it due to forest service arrogance, and local lack of communication.

    Prayers are very good!


  4. Just so you know, most of the initial attack USFS firefighters at the bottom of the food chain have been fighting fires in AZ/NM for the last 4 weeks, averaging 5 hours of sleep per nite.

    Yep my kid is out doing it, and doing a great job.

    21 Years Military vet with 3 combat tours, doesn’t compare to what the front line Firefighter works thru.

    Go turn on your kitchen faucet on hot, fill 4 1qt containers, drink one, put 3 in your pack and hike 5 miles to a fire, start digging for a 16 hour shift, drink the other 3 when you have a break. Sleep on the ground for a few hours if you can, wake up and do it again for a minimum of 14 days straight, if you can handle that then you can tell a front line firefighter what you think about his work

    I am in no way trying to minimize the impact of these fires on the residents of these communties but lets give these guys a break, they are busting their asses all around this country on these fires, then we get some politician that wants to bad mouth the troops on the ground.

    God Help us for the idiots..

  5. I don’t know who you are or why you have decided that Steve Pearce is evil because he dared criticize some petty bureaucrat who made a very bad decision that, so far, has cost at least 39 homes, and a couple of million tax payer dollars. Steve is right about what happened. There is a difference between a bureaucrat who made a bad call, and a firefighter. The problem is the bureaucrat doesn’t have the courage to admit he made a mistake, and the firefighters have the courage to go in and clean up the man’s multi-million dollar mistake.

    How dare you lie and say that I am criticizing these brave men and women who have, more than once, literally saved my home. Last year they saved my parents’ during the Donaldson Complex Fire. I have never ever ever criticized them.

    As for saying they are the bottom of the food chain, you obviously have never been to Ruidoso, or don’t know what you are talking about. You are lying. Here in Lincoln County these brave men and women are treated as heroes.

    DO NOT LIE THAT STEVE PEARCE WAS BAD MOUTHING THE FIRE-FIGHTERS. HE WAS NOT. He was talking about a forest service bureaucrat who made a very bad call, and the whole community is paying for it.

    Evidently someone is trying to do some real damage to Steve. Are you working for his opposition? I can’t think of any other logical answer to such an ill informed and mendacious attack.


  6. It has suddenly dawned on me that these attacks on Steve Pearce are coming from Democrats. I gather this is how the opposition is going to attempt and attack him.

    Good luck.


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  8. Well I GUESS I apoligize, for having emotions, concerning my son, he’s been fighting NM/AZ fires for over a month now and havent seen him in 3 weeks since I moved him out of his apartment from college. You, whanna call me a liar.

    I agree with you 100% that the forest service needs to manage things alot better.

    But you also have to realize that when your flesh and blood is on the front line and fighting these fires emotions run high.

    I apoligize for my comments about Steve Pearce.

    As for saying bottom of the food chain, do you even understand what that means? Have you ever been in the military and started out as an E-1?

    As a firefighter, have you ever been one, do you know what they go thru just to get the job?

    I know Ruidoso real well, spend at least 4 days out of the month working over there. Tell you what, next time i’m over lets get together face to face and work out our differences. Ed

  9. I have no idea what these people go through, or their horribly dangerous job. I just know here, they are treated like heroes. Yesterday, my nephew was in Wallyworld. He had on his Eagle Scout leader shirt. People thought, because of the color of the shirt, he was a firefighter. He said he couldn’t believe the people coming up to shake his hand and thank him. He said he kept telling people he was a scout leader, teaching kids to safely start fires! He just couldn’t get over how anxious people were to show their thanks and support. We can’t do enough or say enough about these people! Last year, the day after the outbreak of the White Fire, I was out driving, taking pictures. Several water truck guys were above my drive, on guard duty. I stopped, thanking them for saving my home. What else can you do?

    The week before all of this, Steve Pearce had just authored an op-ed for the Hill, about the problems within the leadership of the forest service, predicting a scenario almost exactly what is happening here. There is an institutional arrogance among the petty bureaucrats who are more interested in protecting their jobs than the public. Here, a very bad call was made. I have been trying to discover if we’re looking at a bottom line here, where, if nothing had happened and five figures were spent bringing in a chopper with water, someone would lose their job because of over-spending. I really do think that is what happened here. If so, then there is an over-sight culture that is costing millions. I think this is where Steve is going with all of this.

    We have a mess here. So far, they say at least 225 homes have been lost. If it were due to a fire that started, immediately, I would never say anything. But – in the second guessing game the forest service bureaucrats blew it. To me, if we have firefighters injured on the job, it only compounds their arrogance and abject criminal stupidity.

    If you had explained your situation better, you would received a ‘bless you’ – and thank you for raising such a responsible adult! So, Bless you and your son. I will keep him in my prayers. Thank you for raising such a responsible adult.


  10. Sorry about the 10th grade education, not about me though.

    We have the same concerns on the other side of the the mountains.

    But back to the firefighters.

    Thank you for recognizing the young people who are doing the job for us.

    I will not name names but here is a quick overview of (1) of the initial attack firefighters on the Hondo/Gladiator/(Little bear fire.)

    Graduated 2nd in class, nominated to the USAFA, Placed 5th in the lone star conference in track and field.

    On the deans list 5 consecutive semesters.

    I could go on, on ,

    I’m guessing our kids will have to clean it up.

    Suggestions to homeowners, trim trees, clean pine needles.

    Take out hazard areas and put a buffer around your house/home

    Sorry if i’m still pissed, Desert Storm, Kosvo, Iraqia Freedom…….?

  11. You are preaching to the choir about the mess around here. You’ve been here. You know everything revolves around the “cool, tall pines”, even if they are dying of insect infestation and are a critical fire hazard. Ruidoso is considered one of the most endangered communities in the west, because of fire – and the situation with the trees. It was so bad, at one time, major insurers threatened to cancel all fire insurance – unless something was done. So, they did a hat tip to it, and not much else.

    They are alleged to be clearing a 1 mile or so perimeter around the entire community – some has been done – especially around the Downs. The Ruidoso, itself, is a disaster waiting to happen. The “community leaders” have made it almost punitive to cut and clear trees. Here in the Downs, our new mayor is trying to put defensive measures into effect, but is being met with the usual kicking and screaming. I’ve been complaining about just this for ages. Where I live, if we could get the owner of a strip of land to clear it, we would be in good shape.

    Then there are the idiots who build with wood and don’t do stucco with metal roofs…..! Drive through the neighborhoods in Ruidoso and look at the pending disaster. They’re not doing defensible space.

    This place is a disaster, primarily because of the mindset of the community leaders. From what I gather, this thing came so fast, they barely managed to get people out alive in some circumstances. When the flames start crowning in high wind, nothing can stop it.

    Last year, with the Donaldson Center Fire, we were quick to make sure my parents were defensible. There are no pines around the house. I constantly argue with my mother over the bank from the highway, that needs to be hit with weed killer. That’s the only problem she has. Everything else is grass. The moment we realized the fire was heading in her direction, we turned on sprinklers and started wetting down grass.

    Some of this is just plain old common sense – and don’t expect people to use it.

    Please, thank your son for me. If you send me a photo and bio, I will post it.



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