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Mexico Weather: Flash Floods Threaten After Wildfires, Thousands Evacuated

Wildfires in Mexico, which recently ravaged over 23,000 acres of land with blazes like the South Fork Fire and the Salt Fire, saw a temporary respite due to rainy weather. The rainfall initially helped prevent further spread of the fires by dampening the affected areas. However, the relief was short-lived as the region now faces a new threat: flash floods.

The combination of intense rainfall following the wildfires has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood emergency for the Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs areas. The concern stems from the fact that the rain has washed away vegetation and loosened soil, creating conditions ripe for flash floods that could endanger residents.

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While the rain has aided in extinguishing the fires, it has also heightened the risk of flooding, prompting ongoing rescue operations to evacuate residents to safer, higher ground. Despite the flood risks, authorities acknowledge that the rain has been beneficial in containing the wildfires, which posed significant threats to communities.

Following the wildfires' spread on Monday morning in Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs, rescue efforts have been extensive, involving more than 1,000 personnel. Reports indicate that 14,000 structures have been destroyed by the fires, underscoring the scale of the disaster. Tragically, two deaths have been attributed to the wildfires in the affected region.

In response to the crisis, President Joe Biden has approved federal funding for recovery efforts, declaring the situation a disaster. This funding is intended to assist affected residents in rebuilding their homes and accessing necessary resources, including loans to cover property losses and other recovery needs.

This comprehensive response reflects ongoing efforts to address the aftermath of the wildfires and the emerging threat of flash floods, emphasizing the resilience and collaboration needed in such crises.

June 22, 2024 3:44 p.m. 439

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