Lincoln County to get more than $1 million for Little Bear Fire cleanup

Posted at: 03/12/2013 2:38 PM
By: KOB.com staff

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing more than $1 million to reimburse Lincoln County for cleanup costs resulting from flooding following last summer's Little Bear Fire in the White Mountain Wilderness Area near Ruidoso.

Lincoln County incurred more than $1 million in costs last year removing and hauling debris resulting from post-fire flooding to improve public safety, restore access to roadways and protect property.

"As fire season approaches again in New Mexico, we are still dealing with the devastation from the Little Bear Fire," said Sen. Tom Udall.

"I spent time with the Little Bear incident commander and regional team and was very impressed with their coordination. These federal dollars are going to Lincoln County for the tremendous work the community has done to restore the area."

In June 2012, the Little Bear Fire burned almost 45,000 acres, destroyed over 250 homes and structures, and damaged six local watersheds, becoming one of the most destructive fires in state history.

In July 2012, the communities also experienced heavy post-fire flooding as a result of runoff from the fire burn scar.

Udall and retired Sen. Jeff Bingaman sent a letter to President Obama in August 2012 requesting disaster declarations from the federal government to offset the cost to the state and affected communities.