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Fire crews work to contain Moser Fire near Cloudcroft

An air crew responds to the Moser Fire just a few miles east of the Village of Cloudcroft.
Caleb Finch
USDA Lincoln National Forest
An air crew responds to the Moser Fire just a few miles east of the Village of Cloudcroft.

Late Tuesday morning, the U.S. Forest Service sent out a news release giving details on the developing blaze in the Lincoln National Forest, indicating that the fire has grown to 145 acres with 0% containment.

Evacuation orders are in place for homes along U.S. Highway 82 from mile marker 21-23, while areas south of those markers are on high-alert. The Forest Service said containment lines held over Monday night, and containment numbers are expected to increase as crews continue their work around the fire’s perimeter.

A map detailing the area burning around Cloudcroft
U.S. Forest Service
A map detailing the area burning around Cloudcroft.

Amanda Fry, Public Affairs Officer with the U.S. Forest Service said that fire crews across multiple federal, state, and local agencies are continuing to get the blaze under control.

“The conversations I’ve had with the folks on the ground, they’re pretty confident right now. But conditions can change, obviously.”

Fry said that as of Tuesday afternoon there are no reports of any destroyed structures, but that the community needs to stay on high alert in case of any developments.

“Now more than ever, It’s important to just use good fire safety when you’re out enjoying the forest,” she said. “I know the local businesses in Cloudcroft are doing an amazing job stepping up [and] supporting the community during this time. So it’s just phenomenal.”

A shelter for displaced individuals has been set up at the Cloudcroft High School, while animal shelters are available at the Otero County Fairgrounds in Alamogordo.

Update as of 5:11 p.m. MST: According to the Tularosa Basin Regional Dispatch Authority, evacuation orders are expected to be lifted at 8 p.m. According to Lincoln National Forest officials, the fire is now 96 acres and 12% contained.

Update for Wednesday, May 22: According to officials, the blaze has been held to 96 acres and is being reported as 47% contained.

Additional updates from officials on the Moser Fire can be found at NMFireInfo.com

Jonny Coker is a Multimedia Journalist for KRWG Public Media. He has lived in Southern New Mexico for most of his life, growing up in the small Village of Cloudcroft, and earning a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at New Mexico State University.