Local fire crews waiting to fight Little Bear fire

Dion Reynolds
From KOB-TV.com - As the Little Bear fire devastation continues to be tallied up, KOB 4 On Your Side has learned that New Mexico fire crews that are just minutes away from the fire lines have not been allowed to help. Dion Reynolds with a Ruidoso fire crew have been watching this fire burn for about a week and said they have been ready to battle the blaze since day one. He and his crew are certified government contractors with red cards that allow them to fight fires, and they were told they are on rotation to be called to the fire. Now, fire crews as far away as Idaho are being mobilized in the area, and the Ruidoso fire crew has yet to be called in. "We've laid down, we've let it happen, we've let it go, we're not doing it no more…if it ruins my fire career, so what?" Reynolds said. "We live here, we're watching our families' houses burn, we're watching people we know houses burn." The incident commander said he is looking into why the crew was not called in. Meanwhile, 4 On Your Side was told other certified crews from places such as Alamogordo are in town, staying at hotels, and waiting to be called in as well. Last year, a 4 On Your Side investigation found National Guard Blackhawk helicopters, sitting 15 minutes away from the Las Conchas fire, were never called to fight the fire. Forest Service officials said the Blackhawks were ordered by the state for MedEvac, but were not officially listed as a MedEvac air asset for the Las Conchas Fire, and therefore were grounded. Read more



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