FBI: $10K to Help Us Catch Person Who Set Wildfires

Agency is offering reward in New Mexico
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 23, 2024 7:45 AM CDT
FBI: $10K to Help Us Catch Person Who Set Wildfires
A charred car sits around a flattened home that was destroyed by the South Fork Fire in the mountain village of Ruidoso, N.M., Saturday, June 22, 2024.   (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Federal authorities offered a reward for information about those responsible for igniting a pair of New Mexico wildfires that killed two people and destroyed hundreds of homes in the past week. The FBI on Saturday offered up to $10,000 for information in connection with the South Fork Fire and Salt Fire in southern New Mexico, which have forced thousands to flee, per the AP.

  • An agency statement said it was seeking public assistance in "identifying the cause" of the fires near Ruidoso, New Mexico, that were discovered June 17. But the notice also pointedly suggested human hands were to blame, saying the reward was for information leading to arrest and conviction of "the person or persons responsible for starting the fires."

  • The South Fork Fire, which reached 26 square miles, was 26% contained on Saturday, while the Salt Fire, at 12 square miles, was 7% contained as of Saturday morning, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Full containment was not expected until July 15.
  • Evacuations in areas near Ruidoso and road closures were still in effect. In Ruidoso, full-time residents will be allowed to return Monday, though everyday life won't return to normal. "You're going to need to bring a week's worth of food, you're going to need to bring drinking water," said Mayor Lynn Crawford.
(More wildfires stories.)

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