August 26th, 2011

June 2, 2001 — Special Report

7:30 pm MDT — A wildfire near the Inn of the Mountain Gods is being addressed by the Forest Service. Our sources are indicating several fire fighting units have been called to fight the blaze, indicating this fire may be significant.

Authorities are now evacuating residents of the Camelot, Crown Point, High Sierra and Inn of the Mountain Gods residential areas.

The fire began at around 3 pm MDT.

More to come as it becomes available on

8:00 pm MDT — The evacuation points for the fire near the Inn of the Mountain Gods has been designated as the Cloudcroft High School.

No immediate danger for Cloudcroft residents.

8:05 pm MDT — According to KRUI, radio-ruidoso, Hwy 70 was closed when the fire began but has now been re-opened. The station reported 3 slurry planes on the scene of the fire.

Temperatures in the area are around 85 degrees. Winds are slow to moderate.

8:20 pm MDT — A forest blaze began at 3 pm near the Inn of the Mountain Gods on the Mescalero Indian reservation. The main fire is located between the Inn and Ruidoso. Still no word on its origins.

Alarms were sent to several fire fighting units within the reservation and the Alamogordo-Cloudcroft-Ruidoso region, which indicates an outbreak that may be out of control.

More as it becomes available.

9:20 pm MDT — Hwys 70 and 244 have been re-opened near Ruidoso.

Note: This fire is being called the Trap and Skeet Fire, not the Homestead Fire as reported earlier. The Homestead Fire is another fire in the Ruidoso area. The Homestead Fire is mostly in an area that was burned during last year´s Cree fire and is not as difficult to manage.

10:30 pm MDT — According to Ruidoso sources, evacuees from the Trap and Skeet Fire that began this afternoon at 3 pm near the Inn of the Mountain Gods have been allowed to return home.

Since the blaze is still not considered contained, a new evaluation is supposed to be issued at 10 am, June 3 which may allow for new evacuation alerts.

Favorable wind conditions have contributed to good firefighting. No loss of property or life has been reported.

Here is an AP press release on the fire.

June 3 — Special Report

9:15 am MDT — The Trap and Skeet Fire which started around 3 pm yesterday between the Village of Ruidoso and The Inn of the Mountain Gods on the Mescalero Apache reservation is still burning out of control. No reports of loss of property or injuries as a result of the fire which is being addressed by several National Forest Service units as well as about a half-dozen volunteer fire departments from all over the region.

Officials are hoping for favorable conditions today. If the winds pick up, there could be a need for renewed evacuations. Homeowners in the affected area were allowed to return home last night. An official re-evaluation is scheduled for 10am this morning.

If conditions worsen there could be power interruptions in the Ruidoso area, but utility workers are busy this morning trying to avoid any problems before they present themselves.

11:10 am MDT — KRUI radio Ruidoso is reporting a new round of evacuations due to the Trap and Skeet fire will begin at 11 am today. The specific residential areas to be evacuated were not immediately announced.

Still no word on what caused the blaze that is burning close to the Village of Ruidoso although authorities are sure it is of human origin.

National Guard units from Roswell are said to be on hand in helping with evacuation efforts.

11:30 am MDT — Trap and Skeet Fire facts:

Began at 2:30 pm Saturday. Fire fighting crews from Lincoln, Chaves and Otero counties are involved, as well as 4 specialized Hot Shot teams and 4 slurry planes.

Approximately 700 Ruidoso homes were evacuated yesterday. Evacuees returned home last night. Many are being re-evacuated today due to increased danger because of high winds.

Burn area revised to 400 acres down from the estimated 800 acres yesterday.

Highway 70 re-opened. Carrizo Canyon road still closed.

Power outages may reoccur today for Ruidoso residents. Power must be shut off to a high voltage line in the fire area during slurry drops.

The Trap and Skeet Fire is considered about 5% contained as of 11 am Sunday.

No injuries or property damage reported.

12:05 pm MDTHere´s a map showing the location of the Trap and Skeet (and Homestead) Fires.

3:45 pm MDT — Residents of homes in the southern part of Ruidoso have been evacuated due to the close proximity of the Trap and Skeet fire… all except for one resident who refused to leave.

Brisk winds have impeded efforts today. The fire is still listed as only 5% contained. Residents have been told to expect periodic power outages during the day.

The Red Cross is accepting cash donations for assisting displaced persons due to the fire. Their number is 1-505-257-7579

No injuries. No property damage reported.

4:30 pm MDT — The Forest Service has issued 2 press releases on the Trap and Skeet Fire. Here and here.

5:00 pm MDTHere´s a map of the Trap and Skeet Fire area.

6:20 pm MDT — A half-mile may seem like a long way, unless it is the distance between a raging forest fire and your back door. The Trap and Skeet Fire came that close to homes in Ruidoso. It came within a half mile of the southern edge of the Village yesterday, making it necessary to evacuate several dwellings. Miraculously, a day later, despite the fact that firefighters have not been able to bring the fire under control, no property has been lost and there have been no injuries.

The old Wal-Mart building on US 70 in Ruidoso has been transformed into a shelter for displaced persons, while as many as 400 firefighters, 6 hotshot crews and 2 helicopters battled Trap and Skeet to a draw today.

Two slurry planes were grounded most of the day today due to winds. It is expected they will be pressed back into service late this afternoon. They managed to bulldoze a fireline between the fire and the Village, hoping it would hold in the brisk winds.

Officials are saying they are convinced the fire was started by a person or persons, but are not saying who or under what circumstances. The Inn of the Mountain Gods, close to the fire’s origin on the Mescalero reservation, was closed yesterday, but was open for business today.

Eye witness reports are indicating there is much more smoke than fire, perhaps due to higher levels of moisture this year as compared to last.

Burned area: Approximately 400 acres. Property damage: None. Injuries: None. Containment: 5%. Displaced persons: About 700.

6:45 pm MDTHere is an AP press release on the fire.

June 4 — Special Report

7:30 am MDTHere are several photos of the Trap and Skeet Fire as seen June 3 from Ruidoso, taken by Lisa Obst.

8:00 am MDT — Here are some photos of the fire taken on June 2 by Jack Schuller.

9:15 am MDT — New Mexico governor Gary Johnson has declared a state of emergency after inspecting the Trap and Skeet Fire. He told local reporters late yesterday the fire was very similar to the Los Alamos fire of last summer that destroyed several residences there. No property damage or injuries have been reported in the Trap and Skeet Fire. Authorities are declaring the blaze 40% contained.

Arson is suspected in the blaze which came within 700 yards of The Inn of the Mountain Gods… the fire’s point of origin. Fortunately wind conditions moved the blaze away from the resort.

Persons displaced by the blaze are being directed to the Ruidoso Convention Center (1-505-258-5445).

Fire control officials have added an extra 50 acres to the total amount of deep forest consumed, bringing the total to 440.

About 700 persons are directly involved in containing the blaze, including 2 helicopters and two large tanker planes used to drop retardant.

There is still concern regarding the power line running through the fire area. Should this line be compromised, it could present power outages to the Village of Ruidoso and surrounding homes. Power was disrupted Saturday when the fire began but workers have been able to sustain power since then.

6:30 pm MDT — Sometimes no news is good news. That’s the case with the Trap and Skeet Fire near Ruidoso. Very little has changed in containment (about 40%) and acreage burned (450) since this morning. Firefighters are dedicating themselves to the hotspots well within the fire perimeter and the threat to the Village of Ruidoso itself is lessening.

Officials are still concerned about the power line running through the fire area, but that, too, is becoming less of a problem as firefighters attack the more volatile areas with increased success. Wind is still presenting a challenge and fire officials are cautious about declaring Ruidoso as out of danger.

KRUI, Ruidoso’s news/talk/tourism radio, reports 200-300 people are still in temporary shelters. A meeting of fire officials tonight at 6:00 pm will determine whether or not those people can return to their homes.

In a village of casinos and horseracing, no one was willing to give odds Saturday when the fire started so close to town that there would be no reported damage after 2 full days. Up to now the Village has beaten those odds. The unseasonable moisture in May is a probable factor in the successful management of the Trap and Skeet Fire.

Mary Lois Ledbetter, a retiree with a home in Ruidoso, evacuated Saturday. Her son Charles told us via the internet this morning that she is anxious to return to Ruidoso. In her 84 years, Mrs. Ledbetter has seen her share of adversity. This time her story looks more and more like it will have a happy ending.

8:30 pm MDTHere is the Forest Service´s latest press release.

June 5 — Special Report

8:30 am MDT — The Forest Service is reporting that the Trap and Skeet Fire is now 60% contained.

10:30 am MDT — With the the Trap and Skeet Fire about 60% contained, the danger to the Village of Ruidoso has been lessened considerably.

Evacuees have been allowed to return to their homes and firefighters continue to concentrate on hot spots well within the perimeter of the fire.

Still about 700 fire personnel remain on the job. Stand downs of some of these crews are expected in the next few days.

The origin is being referred to as “suspicious”. An arson investigation has begun. will continue to pass along official releases about the fire as they become available.

450 acres burned. No property loss. No injuries.

11:00 am MDTHere is the latest AP press release on the fire.

5:30 pm MDTHere is the latest Forest Service press release.

June 6 — Special Report

8:30 am MDT — Mopping up operations continue on the fire. Due to extreme fire danger, the Mescalero Reservation is closed to the general public.

9:00 am MDT — The Forest Service reports that it expects the Trap and Skeet Fire to be 100% contained by 6 pm today.

11:00 pm MDT — The Forest Service reports:

“The 463-acre Trap and Skeet Fire south of Ruidoso, New Mexico, is 100% contained. Larry Humphrey’s Type I Southwest Area Incident Management Team will turn over management of the fire to the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Mescalero Agency on Thursday. The Mescalero Apache Tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) will begin rehabilitating burned areas, which will include seeding native grasses and installing water bars, along with other erosion control and revegetation to return the land to its condition before the fire.”


August 25th, 2011
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Planning Your Visit to Cloudcroft, New Mexico

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August 25th, 2011

Scott Able Correspondence

We at Cloudcroft Online would like to thank the many people who have written us about the Scott Able Fire. Because of the volume of emails, we have not been able to answer each personally. Your emails provided us with valuable information about the fire which we passed on and encouragement that we were being helpful. A selection of the emails we received are given below.

Thanks again!

Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 22:30:58 -0600
I just wanted to sincerely thank whoever it is who is keeping us up to date on the situation. Please keep us posted with any new information.

We hope and pray that everyone is safe and things will be under control soon. My wife and I have a cabin in Young Canyon near Cloudcroft. Thanks again for your information.

Brad R. Baker

Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 01:15:20 -0500
Thank you. Thank you! Thank you!! for the updates on the fire. My husband was on his way from Texas to meet our son at our vacation home in Bonita Vista when we first heard about the fire. Our son had already been dropped off at the house and was without a car when the evacuation order came. A good neighbor stopped by and took him to Cloudcroft. Thanks to your updates, I have been reassured back here in Texas. I knew the location of the evacuation group by your site before we received the telephone call from our son! Great work…. Diane Bazar

Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 10:42:26 EDT
Please pass this along to the person(s) who had the idea and followed through to put the fire report on the web page. As a member of a family of long-time property owners in Wayland Canyon but resident of California, I am quite worried and anxious to hear any news we can get, not just about our property but our neighbors as well! I was so pleased to see the diligent work on the web site to provide such well down updates!

Thank you so much!
Heather (Herbert) Murrell

Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 07:58:30 -0600
Since the fire season is upon us in more ways than one, is there any effort on the part of the village to attempt to clean parts of the village up that has a considerable amount of dead wood and underbrush on it. Not only the private lots and unattended homes, but the right ways long the roads?

If volunteers are need I am willing to help since it obvious it is going to take more than the village staff to clean up the village.

Has there ever been a effort to put a ordinance on the village books to force investors and developers, land owners to keep their property clean and free of undergrowth and dead wood?

Thank you very much and your efforts are truly appreciated.

Larry Morgan

Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 11:11:47 -0500
Just a note to tell you how valuable your information is to me and my family. I am in Midland, Texas; my brother is at his home in Ponderosa Pines and I am feeding him reports based on what you post. I wish you could get more information, but being in the communications business myself I know how very difficult agencies can be sometimes.

Cloudcroft is a special place to my family and we are concerned for it during this fire.

I just wanted to tell you your information is reaching someone who can really use it. Hopefully you won’t have much more to report.


Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 11:04:28 -0500
I would like to give everyone working there kudos for the excellent work on the update. We have owned property in Cloudcroft for 15 years. It is located at mile marker 29 on the highway towards Mayhill. Yesterday I received a call from my father telling me that there was a fire nearby. Since I live in Houston, I needed to get more information on the status of the fire. We would hate to lose all our possessions at the home that I spent my childhood at. After searching the internet for about an hour, I came upon your website. It was a great feeling to get accurate information. Obviously, I would like to get more regular updates, but what you have presented is fantastic given the circumstances. A couple of suggestions if I may, it would be nice if you could update every hour on the hour even if all you can add is that there is no further information available. This would be helpful because it will place a time marker on the page and users won’t have to wonder if there might be problems loading up the website or problems with their web browser. Secondly, is there any way that a rough sketch on a map might be added indicating where the fire currently is and what direction it is heading? Even a hand drawn .bmp file would be greatly appreciated!

Once again……great work, great website (placed it in my favorites) and those of us far…far…away are tuned in!!!!

Alberto Lozano
Houston, Texas

Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 12:57:17 -0700
Sorry to send info to this address but I don’t see any other to send to. The buildings in the mouth of Wayland canyon have all burned but the one belonging to my family. This would be at least 7 homes, plus the homes behind those down in the canyon.

This is a very sad day.

Heather Murrell

Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 14:39:02 -0700 (PDT)
Thank you for dedicating your site to the Scott Able fire. It has been very difficult to get good, detailed information.

THANK YOU for your efforts!!!

Bethany Graves

Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 21:07:40 -0400
We appreciated your work to keep updating the news on the fire. Thanks for including the photos.

Robin and Ruth Rose, Las Cruces
(and cabin outside Cloudcroft)

Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 23:45:37 EDT
We just wanted to tell you “Thanks!” for keeping your website posted with the fire information. Although our vacation retreat near Cloud Country Estates is apparently safe from this conflagration, we still recognize how vulnerable we could be. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering through this disaster, as well as with those making the effort to bring it under control.

Bill and Karen Burkett
Midland, Texas

Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 07:51:39 -0600
I would like to thank you and your staff on keeping us informed as to the situation in the Lincoln National Forest. You have provided an excellent service to all of us that have loved ones and property in the Lincoln National Forest.


Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 09:04:02 -0600

We live in El Paso but own a cabin in Twin Forks area since last year. Our concerns were first with the welfare of the residents who live in the areas and for their safety. Your news updates allowed us to also keep watch on the locations of the fire to understand what we had to do should we need to move out our belongings in a hurry. By keeping a watch on your news line and calling the NFS we were able to have some comfort as to what to do.

Our prayers are with those who have suffered loss and inconvenience there from this unfortunate event.

Thank you very much for the service.

Mark & Lisa Ellis

Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 11:57:04 -0500
Thanks for your continued coverage. We all are consulting your web page on a very regular basis throughout the day. Our neighbors have a home in Cloudcroft on 16 Springs Canyon Rd, right off 82. If the fire were to start up and move north, we think they would be in the path. They are anxiously watching your site for information as well. You’ve been a wonderful source! Thanks!!!! and double thanks! Diane Bazar

Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 14:52:14 EDT
I am an absentee (in military service) landowner in the Agua Chiquita Canyon. News reports I have been able to get about the Scott Able fire have been infrequent and contained sketchy or inaccurate information. Your site has been an excellent source of up to date news about the fire. I want you to know that I am grateful for your effort and hope this type of service will always be a part of your website during crisis.


Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 13:42:26 -0600

I would like to respond to your comments ref “Lack of Information/government “Run Around” from the Sheriff’s Office. I was working in Dispatch the Night the fire started, believe me it was a Zoo!! We could not reach the Forest Service Dispatch, and had to send a unit over to their facility to have them contact us. While doing this, and dispatching Local fire Depts, we were also Inundated with frantic 911, calls from people all over the Mountains asking for inf, and reporting at least 4 “Other Fires”. we had to try to verify and confirm if there was in fact other fires. to add to this, we were getting calls from the News Media, ( who also could not reach the Forest Service) bugging us for info. They inturn were broadcasting poor info to the public indicating that The whole Sacramento Mountains were being evacuated, that Cloudcroft was burning, ect…. Each time there was a “News Bulletin” our Phones were Jammed. I personally “Begged the News People calling to NOT put out that kind of INFO till we could get correct info. For at least the next 8 hours…. we were constantly Flooded with Calls from the Media, and the Public. ( 5:00 till 0100hrs)

In addition, we had to deal with the standard Thursday night Calls for service in the rest of the County, all the way to Chaparrel. We were able to deal with Cloudcroft Evacuation Center, keeping Mayor Dave & Mike Niveson briefed and updated on what little we knew. All this was being accomplished by 2 dispatchers! I realize it was frustrating for you not to be able to get Information, it was also the same for us. It is my understanding that the Forest Service Phone lines were “Down” and that was the reason for lack of communications. Please keep in mind the Forest Service is ultimately in charge in these situations. We did the best we could under the circumstances. As a Mountain Resident, I appreicate your Efforts in keeping folks informed.

Best Regards,
George Collins,
Otero County Sheriff’s Dispatch

Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 14:01:16 -0600
Want to let you know how much I appreciate your posted updates on the situation there. I am with the NM Conference of the United Methodist Church, coordinating communication among our churches/laity, and we have a Conference Camp at Sacramento (Sacramento Methodist Assembly), where fire threatened substantially night before last and during the day.

Without their panicky calls to us in the midst of firefighting, and your posted info, we would have been left in the dark. I have heard nothing from them since Friday noontime, and pray they have made it through this horrific experience. If you have any information pertaining to this Camp area, we would appreciate knowing- if that is possible.

Cheryl Hicks
Office of Church Development
Conference Office- NM Conference UMC
Albuquerque, NM

Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 15:14:20 -0500
Your up-to-the-minute updates of the fire situation are a tremendous help. When I feel there is nothing I can do here in Albuquerque, because of your tremendous effort, at least I can keep in touch. Of particular concern to me being a United Methodist is the situation at the Sacramento Methodist Assembly, the staff, the buildings, and the lovely forest.

Also, if anyone there knows Richard and Mary of Cloudcroft Methodist Church, please give them my email address:


Prayers for your strength to endure mother nature, and your care of those who need compassion.

PJ Flowers
Albuquerque, NM

Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 17:44:10 -0600
My wife, Louise and I live out of Cloudcroft about 10 miles in Cloud Country West. We have been frantically trying to get information on the fire. This morning I went in to talk to the folks at the Cloudcroft Fire Station and they recommended I try your web site. It was like a Godsend to finally get some information on what is going on. Thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart. You folks are wonderful and we have signed up for your newsletter. Will try and support those who sponsor your web site.

Thanks again.
Craig Clark
Cloudcroft, NM

Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 17:47:50 -0600
Let me add my thanks to those who have already written. You have provided a service that goes beyond description. The news media has been focusing all of their coverage on the Los Alamos area but you have provided us with timely, factual reports that we cannot get any where else. We too, own a home in Cloudcroft, and are most concerned with the welfare and safety of our friends. Also, a big “THANK YOU” to the men and women who are putting it on the line to fight this fire. Our prayers and best wishes are with you. Please return safely. Property can be replaced…people can’t!!!

Best regards,
Bob and Cari Hemperley
El Paso

Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 18:23:01 -0400 (EDT)
I keep coming back repeatedly to your site to read the latest info on the Scott Able fire near Cloudcroft. We have almost completed the construction and finish-out on our retirement home at The Ranch in the Young Canyon area off US82 east of Cloudcroft. I was there until Tuesday of this week before returning to Garland, Texas. A good Cloudcroft neighbor told me by phone of the fire, and I quickly went to your site, and found your coverage. I will continue to check in for updates.

I hope when the fire is under control and interest wanes, that you will not just “discard” the materials you have assembled, but will find a corner of your site to keep them intact. I think that re-reading these materials from time to time will insure that we stay vigilant, and that we understand how a fire can spread, how difficult it can be to get one under control, and the disruption of lives and loss of property (even if there is no loss of life) that can be caused, as well as how difficult it can be to get timely and accurate information from the officials and the media. The links to other resources are also very valuable. Please save this stuff for us to access again.

One minor point concerning your links to “Wildlife Fire Operations Website” and “Current Wildlife Fire Information”: The word “Wildlife” should be “Wildland”.

Why don’t you also tell us something about the “anonymous reporter” who has been giving us this coverage? The TV networks show us the reporter and give his or her name. Who can we thank?

Good work!! Keep it up!
Preston Brashear

Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 22:35:11 -0600
We would like to thank all that helped. We have lived here for four years. I haven’t ever seen so much helping hands, in so many years. We are proud to be a part of Cloudcroft.

We would like thank all the firefighters and the people that risked their l lives for us. May god bless all of them.

Sincerely yours,
Jerry and Carol White

Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 10:14:45 -0600
Just discovered your page.


Been spending hours with TV trying to get updates, mostly to no avail – then I discovered your site. Hope I don’t have to use it for fire info again, but look forward to receiving the newsletter. We, and guests, spend alot of time in Cloudcroft (and you can’t depend on the Alamo paper for any current info).

Keep up the good work, and thanks again.
Charles G. Farrant

Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 21:22:38 EDT
My husband, Dan Jones, and I own a cabin in Sullivan Canyon. Our good friend Janet Sanders kept us updated with the information available to her, but she also told me about your website. How grateful I am to her, as well as to all of you! What a comfort to log on and find such up-to-the-minute reports. I can’t imagine the toll this must have taken on your staff, so please know what an invaluable service you provided for so many of us who are geographically elsewhere, while our hearts and spirits are in Cloudcroft.

Best regards to everyone,
Suzanne Schmidt

Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 21:59:07 -0500
Just a short note to say thanks for keeping the general public updated on the status of the Scott Able fire. While many may not believe that this fire is as important as the Los Alamos fire – since I have yet to hear of any national new coverage. Your web site has been a portal of valuable information to me and my family (Dockray, Curtis, and Fulton families of Cox Canyon). While I’m unable to personally assist the victims of the fire, our prayers are with each of them.

Thanks again,
Tim Fulton
Nashville, Tennessee

Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 20:48:39 -0600
Thank you for your web site. We live on Miller Flats with 180 horses and we really need the information that you are giving, as no radio station or TV station are of help. Where we live we are just in the dark most of the time. Thanks so much. Keep it up.

Jennifer Gold.

Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 06:38:47 -0500
Thanks for your update information on the fire. Since our family owns a cabin in Hay Canyon, I check your web site several times a day for your courrent updates. This shows that the people of Cloudcroft care about the surrounding communities.

The lost of property is very sad, especially now since there was a plane crash, which resulted in two deaths. Since I can’t be there to give a helping hand, I know everybody is doing their best.

Darrell and Christy
Denton TX

Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 09:42:02 -0500
The Cloudcroft homesite has been extremely helpful to me this past week as I’ve tried to assess the danger to my cabin near Alto. Whoever has manned that station and has taken the time to give such good information about the fires deserves a medal for public service.

Thank you
Virginia Paget,
Austin, Texas.

Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 11:02:14 -0600
Can’t tell you how much we appreciate your keeping us updated on the fire situation. We live in El Paso but have a cabin in the Village. Have constantly been checking the site as we are not getting too much news coverage here. You are doing a great job!!

Thanks so much!!!!
Anne & Jim Spier

Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 13:04:44 -0500
Thanks for your continued excellent coverage. It must be wearing to maintain this momentum of coverage but it is putting all of our minds at ease. I changed my “home page” location to your site!

We log on at least once an hour to check for your updates. Our families are logging on from Florida, New York, Illinois, Colorado and Texas.

Many thanks…. Diane Bazar

Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 15:21:34 -0500
Have been reading the reports from others who are blessed by your updates and we’d like to add our names to those listed. We have had to leave our cabin in order to make a living, but our hearts are still in that area. We are so far away from home (Northern California) and your updates are keeping our minds at ease. Glad there is no distance in the spirit and we continue to pray for those who are fighting the fire and those who have lost so much.

You are doing a great job and we say “thank you” from the bottom of our hearts.

Paul and Mary Paxton

Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 16:44:48 -0500 (CDT)
I would like to thank you for the good work at getting the news of the forest fires on the web. My son lives at PONDERROSA PINES and had been helping fight the fires. It was a big relief to me to be able to keep up with the progress of the fires. Keep up the good work and thanks again.

Sugarland, TX

Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 17:24:22 EDT
We very much appreciate your efforts to keep us posted on the current fire situation. This is by far the best source of information available regarding the fires. We live in El Paso, have a second house in the Village, and have been coming to Cloudcroft for over 60 years. Keep up this important good work.

Many thanks,
Werner and Cheri Spier

Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 21:03:16 -0500

We greatly appreciate the information provided on this web-site. Like many others, my family owns two lots in Ponderosa Pines in Cox Canyon and are very concerned about the fire in the surrounding areas. From the information provided, we are assuming that area is okay at this point.

Our hearts and prayers go out to all those in the area, property owners, and people who are participating in all the volunteer efforts. Thank you for continuing to keep us abreast of the situation.

Our thanks!
Major & Shelley Hossenlopp-Ft. Hood, TX
Rich & Helen Mueller-Spring, TX

Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 19:11:36 EDT
My husband and I thank you for all the information you have been providing us. We live in Aledo, Texas (west of Fort Worth) and have a home in Timberon. We own Sacramento Energy and have a bulk plant at Sacramento Methodist Camp, so many of the people in the area are friends and customers. Larry Crawford works with us and has been fighting the fire from the beginning. If anyone knows the people that have lost homes or any of our customers read this, please call or e-mail us at Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone.

Thank you again for your hard work in gathering information for us.

Aubrey and Mitch Johnson

Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 12:38:45 -0600

We evacuated on the 10th. Our house is OK, but many friends have lost everything. Fire was extremely hot and firefighters basically had to evacuate also. Fire had free roam of town [Los Alamos], many homes burned down to foundation. It is amazing there are so many spared. We got to come back last night, forest around town is 100% burnt due to extreme heat of fire, our beautiful mountains are destroyed.

Hope Cloudcroft officials take forest thinning seriously! Most people around here believe that logging should be allowed again. Many areas that were control burned two years ago were no help in stopping fire. They needed to be thinned better.

Lee Anderson

Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 21:05:44 -0500
The information that you have been furnishing is great. We have a cabin in Timberon and were very concerned until we started watching your reports. From what we read, the fire started around the 4H camp but we were wondering if the camp sustained any damage. Some of the 4H’rs from Texas go to the camp occasionally. Thanks again for a GREAT JOB.

Larry Abbott
San Angelo, Texas

Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 10:37:47 -0500
My husband and I have owned property in Hay Canyon since 1967, and feel a very close tie to all the area around Cloudcroft, Weed, Sacramento and Mayhill. We have relied heavily on your website for up-to-date info on the Scott Able fire. We had to evacuate our cabin hastily on Thurs. night, May 11. We picked up Mike Bazar, who knew nothing about the fire, and with our friends who also own property in Hay Canyon, John and Kay Tork, made the trip to the Cloudcroft High School that night. The fire from the top of Prestridge Hill was very scary. We saw the same picture from there that you posted on your website. We just knew that our lovely canyon and cabin were gone forever!

When we arrived at the high school, we were greeted warmly by several Cloudcroft residents, along with some students from Colorado who pitched in to help. Later Linda Loper and her daughter came by and insisted that we spend the night in the Loper’s lovely home. What gracious hosts! Linda and Roger served us a delicious breakfast Fri. morning.

On Friday, we returned to Hay Canyon, not being stopped or questioned by anyone. Late that afternoon, we evacuated again, and decided to return to our homes in the Fort Worth area. Since then we have regularly visited your website, and also called the forest service number provided to us. We are so thankful that the fire is now contained! We will visit your website frequently from now on, just to get information about that area. THANKS TO ALL YOUR STAFF FOR THIS EXCELLENT SERVICE. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!

Marvin and Vern Myers

Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 10:39:55 -0600
I am a member of the NM National Guard that was deployed to the Cree & Scott Able fires. I was one of the first guard members sent to Cloudcroft on Thursday night, and stayed till the next Thursday when we were released. I just want the residents of the Cloudcroft, Mayhill & especially the folks along Miller Rd. to know how much your support and cooperation were appreciated. We couldn’t have done our job without you. I also want to thank you folks at this site for keeping my wife and family informed as my cell phone didn’t work at my check point on Miller Rd. AGAIN THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.

SPC Jim Gorrell
C-1/200 ADA
Portales NM

Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 17:57:13 EDT
Great Job! We who have places in Cloudcroft and the surrounding area applaud your efforts in keeping us advised as to the status of the Scot-Able fire. It seemed that this fire did not get the publicity from the press as did others and your service was our only link to current information. While we are very pleased to hear of the fire containment and thank the firefighters for their hard work, our hearts and prayers go out to those that have suffered loss.

Tom and Fran Gregg,
San Angelo, Texas

Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 18:07:43 EDT
Just wanted to tell you that your hourly reports on the fire situation have been greatly appreciated by everyone who knew about Here at Century 21 Casa, we were able to keep up with the news and we were also able to refer the many callers to our office to the web site. It has been a great service to the community to have access to this information in a timely manner. Great job, guys…it was above and beyond…

Rusty Russell

Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 15:32:59 -0500
Thank you for your news of the fire. We own property in Russia Canyon and your reports kept us informed the whole time. This service is invaluable to everyone in the Cloudcroft area and to those of us who visit often. Thank you again.

Guy and Nancy Watkins

Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 19:35:32 -0500
Thank you so very much for posting the news on the Scott Able fire. I have recently under gone back surgery in Florida and cannot travel back to our home in Cloudcroft for another two months. We were very pleased to have access to the fire news though you web page. It helped much with the trauma for an operation and the fear of losing our home.

Gene and Vera Mangold

Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 21:00:45 -0500
We just want to tell you how much we depended on and appreciated your updates of the Scot Able fire in Weed. We have a cabin in Chippeway Park and were surprised by the lack of national news coverage of that fire; we just found out about it by accident! Your updates were absolutely priceless. It was frustrating to be ten hours away from our “home away from home” when the fire was so close. But thanks to your excellent coverage and updates, we were able to know what was happening! We enjoy the website and check it every single day.

Keep up the good work!!!
Larry & Emily Giles

Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 00:06:19 EDT
I would like to extend my thanks to everyone that helped out in fighting the Scott Able Fire keeping our homes and families safe. I am 6000 miles away working on a construction project in the Marshall Islands with my family still in Cloudcroft. It was quite a relief to find out that the fire had been brought under control. My sorrows go out to all that did suffer losses during this fire.

I would also like to say thank you to for updating the web site as often as they did so that I could keep a close eye on what was happening being so far away from my loved ones.


Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 14:17:52 EDT
I have read with pride the outpouring of gratitude from those who sought and FOUND data and news while Cloudcroft and Scott Able area experienced the fire and threat thereof. I would appreciate it if I too could add my profound thanks for the marvelous job Cloudcroft Online/Newsletter and others did to keep us outsiders informed as to the progress being made to save the remaining area. I recently retired from 50 years in the news business. I can attest to the fantastic job you all did in keeping us accurately informed at a time when “news” of the blaze were scarce. Thank you again from a “resident of #5” Buckhorn Cabins. Hi Gloria and Katherine.

See ya soon.
Bert N. Shipp

Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 14:34:11 EDT
From Lubbock Texas I wish to say what a fantastic job we thought you did considering the lousy help you received from the state which is par for the course. Is there anything I can do in the way of donation letters to Pete in Washington or what can I do to help you out the most. We SURE appreciated and noted the hard work it took to put out the newsletter. It did take much of the worry of our home in Timberon away and yes I did pass your address along to all us Texas flatlanders.


Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000 04:39:56 -0600
I want to thank you for the fire coverage. I was really frustrated about lack of information early on, but then I found and the information was accurate and up to date. We were in the process of marketing a home in the evacuated area before the fire started but unlike many that lost everything, our place was spared, and has now been sold.

Thanks for the coverage, it really kept us informed.

Joe Hart
High Rolls, NM

Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2000 09:40:57 -0700
A huge THANK YOU for your coverage of the Scott Able fire. My brother (Steve Wimsatt) called and told me about the fire, and told me about your web site. I told everyone I talked to about this site, and many of us logged on daily. It was so great to be able to find out what was going on, especially since the coverage here in California focused only on the fire in Northern New Mexico.

I was born and raised in James Canyon, and a part of me will always think of Cloudcroft as “home”. Thank you again for your hard work and for making such an effort to keep us informed. I know that this has touched far more people than you will ever know about!

Sheila (Wimsatt) Carpenter


August 25th, 2011

Scott Able Fire
Day 2 – May 12, 2000

May 12, 2000 — Cloudcroft.Com Special Report

12:05 am MDT 05/12/00 — The fire is burning toward the end of the timberline and in a very sparcely populated area. Let us hope it doesn’t change directions or hurt anyone.

12:20 am MDT — The small mountain community of Miller Flat is being evacuated by the National Forest Service at this time. According to the NFS, “The fire is creating its own weather patterns”, meaning it is hard to predict wind velocities and directions. Wind near the fire has been clocked at 70 mph. The NFS is unable to estimate property damage since their main objective at this time is containment. Over 8,000 acres have been consumed in the past 8 hours, making this fire a bigger one in terms of density than either the one in Los Alamos or the one near Ruidoso. This remains a very dangerous blaze to any areas within several miles of its hot spots. Residents are advised to be prepared to leave the area if notified. Cloudcroft.Com will continue to update conditions during the night.

1:00 am MDT — Wind direction ENE. Velocity near hot spots still about 70 mph. Still no indication of the origin of this fire or how much structural damage it has caused. No new evacuations have been ordered since the one announced for Miller Flat about a half hour ago.

6:15 am MDT — The National Weather Service is waiting for sunlight to make their assessment of the fire that started yesterday afternoon near Weed. While they say there likely has been some structural damages, they are unwilling at this time to say how extensive. No injuries have been reported. An estimated 200 firefighters are working the blaze with several fresh crews expected today. Areas around Weed, Perk Canyon, and Sacramento were evacuated last night with emergency shelter provided at Cloudcroft High School. No news as to when those evacuees will be allowed to return home. More as it becomes available on

7:05 am MDT — An evaluation team was dispatched after sunrise this morning from Mayhill to establish the movement and extent of the blaze that started yesterday afternoon near Weed. Evacuees from Weed, Sacramento, Chippaway, and Perk Canyon have not been cleared to return to their homes. A full report is expected at around 8 am MDT.

8:05 am MDT — Fire fighting officials engaging the Cloudcroft area fire are using the Cloudcroft Ski area as a staging point. The evaluation team sent out to assess the fire this morning is due back with a report within the half hour. Cloudcroft.Com apologizes for the lack of information this morning. Obviously the fire burns on. We are forced to rely on information sources at the National Forest Service and the Otero County Sherrif’s office. Both agencies have been slow in responding to our requests for updated information.

9:38 am MDT — Hwy 24 is closed from NM130 to Pinion. All roads South of Sunspot going East are closed except the road to Timberon. Still no official report on acres involved or property damage. No injuries have been reported.

10:08 am MDT — Over 20,000 acres have burned in a fire that started at a 4-H camp near Weed yesterday afternoon. The National Forest Service said the Village of Cloudcroft and the Village of Timberon are in no immediate danger. Forest Service said there was little in the way of fire fighting efforts yesterday. Emergency crews were concentrating on evacuating the affected areas. Some tanker planes were used yesterday but none are in the air today due to high winds.

The communities evacuated to Cloudcroft High School were Sacramento, Weed, Perk, Wills, Camp Mary White, McDonald Flats, Miller Flats, Tall Pines camp, and all ranches in the affected area.
Residents of Lower Cox Canyon (between the Baptist Camp and Mayhill on NM-130) are on evacuation alert, meaning they have been told to stand by if the need arises for them to evacuate. Elements of the National Guard are in the area to protect evacuated property from looting.

The fire remains out of control. Its path indicates it may possibly run out of the timberline and into brush land, but that is based on its latest path. Unconfirmed sources say the fire may have begun due to high winds breaking a high voltage line.

12:08 pm MDT — No new information on the size of the fire since our account of 20,000 acres 2 hours ago. That figure has obviously grown larger since the fire remains out of control. Add to the list of evacuated areas: Crydenbring Canyon and Hay Canyon. None of the earlier evacuees have been allowed back in. Four structures are said to have been destroyed. It is not known whether these are out buildings or homes. There is an unconfirmed report that residences were either damaged or destroyed in Sacramento.

1:35 pm MDT — No new information on the fire location from the National Forest Service. Also they claim the amount of ground burned has not changed in the past 3 hours, which is impossible since they admit the fire is still burning out of control. The NFS is showing little interest in keeping the public properly informed. The Otero County Sherrif’s Office refers all calls to the National Forest Service. Your basic government run-around. Would go to the scene myself, but they have the roads blocked. Sorry for the inconvenience to Cloudcroft.Com’s readers. Will try and get more info for you next hour.

2:15 pm MDT — Heather Murrell of Wayland Canyon reports the following to us:

“Sorry to send info to this address but I don’t see any other to send to. The buildings in the mouth of Wayland Canyon have all burned but the one belonging to my family. This would be at least 7 homes, plus the homes behind those down in the Canyon. — This is a very sad day.”

3:00 pm MDT — A good topographic map of the area can be seen here.

3:05 pm MDT — Five tankers have been engaged to fight the Cloudcroft fire (known as the Scott Able Fire). A spokesman for the Forest Service (Alamogordo office) indicated weather conditions have improved greatly for fighting the blaze and it is not threatening any new areas. While it still has not been brought under control, it has become “stable” and fire fighters are making progress.

20 structures are said to have been destroyed. Our source was unable to indicate how many of these were homes, but at least one other source said they knew of at least 7 homes burned.

None of those evacuated have been able to return home. The Forest Service has not been able to organize a press pool to see the fire because of the danger of being in close proximity.

4:35 pm MDT — Tamer winds, higher humidity, and lower temperatures are aiding firefighters in getting control of the Scott Able fire. 12 crews, 9 engines, 4 dozers, and 9 air tankers are helping to battle the blaze. Still a way to go before the fire can be declared under control.

7:30 pm MDT — We have some photos here.

7:30 pm MDT — Weather favorable to fire fighting has kept the Scott Able Fire near Cloudcroft contained to an area around the Weed community, although it is still not considered under control. Our spot inspection got us as far as NM 130 and the Weed turnoff, where we were turned back by Border Patrol Agents manning the road block. The pictures we posted are not indicative of the ferocity of the blaze since they were taken some 10 miles from the fire.

We visited the evacuation center at Cloudcroft High School this pm. Few people were there because most of them had made arrangements for housing with friends or were checked into motels. The Salvation Army and Red Cross will continue to provide the service.

The Type 1 fire fighting crew will take over from the Type 2 crew tomorrow morning at 6 am. A Type 1 crew is the highest fire fighting status. While the Forest Service is advising that Cloudcroft is in minimal danger, it is advised that as long as the fire is out of control, there remains an element of danger and all area residents should keep abreast of the situation.

8:45 pm MDT — The worst is over. The National Forest Service says the fire has moved very little since this morning and is 40% contained. No new movement in any significant direction. It has been a cool and calm afternoon here today, which has helped in the fire fighting efforts. We will continue with updates when new information becomes available.

Day 1 Coverage

Day 3 Coverage