Firefighters fought flames Tuesday at a home in the village of Ruidoso, roughly an 180-mile drive southeast of Albuquerque, the release said. That evening, local police learned an elderly couple attempted to evacuate the fire was “unaccounted for by family members,” the release said. Authorities located remains of two people at the home the next day, state police said.
“He said, ‘honey everything is burning around us, I’ve got to get out of here,’ ” Mary Smith told the affiliate. She added someone from their church had called her husband and awakened him, saying otherwise, “my husband would’ve still been asleep.”
On Saturday, evacuation orders remained for Gavilan Canyon — from Highway 70 to Lower Eagle Creek– and Homestead Acres/Lower Eagle Creek, Rancho Ruidoso Valley Estates, Deer Valley, Deer Park, and Alto East of Flute Player, authorities said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Several blazes raise concerns
The McBride fire isn’t the only one scorching parts of the state.
A red flag advisory — indicating increased fire risk — was in place through the night, officials said.
The blazes have created air quality concerns, the state’s top health and environment officials said Friday, urging residents to protect themselves and learn about ways to maintain air quality safety, like by “setting home air conditioning units to ‘recirculate’ during fire events,'” the state’s health and environment departments said in a joint news release.
“Air quality conditions exist that may be harmful to the health of at-risk populations and can create unsafe driving conditions in areas directly impacted by the fires,” David R. Scrase, the acting cabinet secretary for New Mexico’s health department, said in a statement.
“Smoke exposure can aggravate conditions such as asthma, a chronic lung disease, or cardiovascular disease,” Scrase added.
CNN’s Chris Boyette and Paradise Afshar contributed to this report.