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The Latest: Utility shuts down power lines for several towns

Jun 9, 2018

MESCALERO, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on New Mexico wildfires (all times local):3:00 p.m.A New Mexico utility says firefighting efforts in southern New Mexico prompted it to shut down power lines for several communities.PNM says it planned to shut down the lines early in the afternoon Friday to allow for air tankers to drop retardant on the wildfire on the Mescalero Apache Reservation.The lines provide power to the Village of Ruidoso, and the villages of Mescalero and Tularosa. The utility planned to restore power as quickly as possible after clearing the retardant from the lines.The Bureau of Indian Affairs says the fire has burned nearly 4 square miles since Thursday afternoon and that it's about a half-mile (.8 kilometer) north of the town of Mescalero.It has forced the evacuation of 100 homes.A top-tier incident management team and additional crews of firefighters are being deployed.___11 a.m.An evacuation order imposed on residents of Ute Park in northern New Mexico's Colfax County because of a wildfire has been lifted.County officials said Friday the evacuation order was lifted because the fire threat to the community is reduced though the fire continues to burn and there will be air-quality concerns for some time.Also, some traffic restrictions remain in place.The incident management team assigned to the fire Thursday night that it was 66 percent contained and has burned 57.4 square miles (149 sq. kilometers).No homes have been destroyed since it started May 31 but the fire burned 14 outbuildings on the Philmont Scout Ranch.The fire's cause is under investigation.___8:50 a.m.A wildfire on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in southern New Mexico has forced the evacuation of 100 homes.The Bureau of Indian Affairs says the fire has burned nearly 4 square miles since starting Thursday afternoon and that it's about a half-mile (.8 kilometer) north of the town of Mescalero.The fire is threatening power lines and U.S. 70 along with 100 homes that have been evacuated. Shelters were established at several locations.Aircraft are helping firefighters and a top-tier incident management team and additional crews of firefighters are being deployed.Cause of the fire is under investigation.Mescalero is 142 miles (229 kilometers) south of Albuquerque.___7:30 a.m.A northern New Mexico wildfire that has threatened two communities and a Boy Scouts camp is now contained around two-thirds of its perimeter.The incident management team assigned to the fire between Ute Park and Cimarron reported Thursday night that it was 66 percent contained and has burned 57.4 square miles (149 sq. kilometers).No homes have been destroyed since it started May 31 but the fire burned 14 outbuildings on the Philmont Scout Ranch.Over 600 firefighters and other personnel are assigned to the fire, which at times forced evacuation of Cimarron. Ute Park remains evacuated.The fire's cause is under investigation.