Bobby Zen

A mandatory evacuation for horses and humans at New Mexico’s Ruidoso Downs was issued Tuesday after the South Fork Fire was reported by government officials at nearly 14,000 acres with zero percent containment. Officials were alerted Monday morning to the fire, which is burning on Mescalero Tribal land, U.S. Forest Service land, and within the areas surrounding Ruidoso. Ruidoso Downs is located within the Village of Ruidoso.

“The racetrack right now is in great shape,” said New Mexico-based trainer Todd Fincher, who has 70 head on the premises. “Huge fire destroying the town, but I left there this morning and everything was very good at the track. Some people have moved their horses and some haven’t. I haven’t yet, but we are on alert. Hopefully it won’t get close to the track or affect the horses.”

Ruidoso’s most recent day of live Thoroughbred racing was conducted Sunday with the next card originally scheduled for this coming Friday. Social media had a number of images showing road access limited in and out of the track with air quality also being a major concern. The Downs at Albuquerque, approximately 200 miles away, was accepting horses with room for about 1,000 equines.

According to New Mexico Fire Information, the South Fork Fire is a full suppression fire, with air and ground resources utilized from tribal, federal, state, and local agencies. Cell service is limited in the greater area. Tuesday brought an additional concern of increased winds while approximately 500 structures have already been impacted.

The post Fire Sparks Mandatory Evacuation at Ruidoso Downs appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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