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Updated: Thursday, 14 Jun 2012, 12:24 PM MDT
Published : Thursday, 14 Jun 2012, 12:24 PM MDT
RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) - Crews continue to make more progress on the Little Bear Fire burning near Ruidoso.
It is now 40 percent contained and has charred at least 224 homes.
The lightning sparked blaze is in its 11th day and has burned nearly 38,000 acres. Officials say the fire that's active on the northwest side grew by about 400 acres since Wednesday.
Crews say burnout operations and higher humidity have allowed them to make more progress.
They have also received more personnel. There are now more than 1,300 firefighters working on the blaze.
The Little Bear Fire has become one of the highest priority wildfires in the country right now.
Last night emergency services began notifying people on the status of their homes.
Still, most homeowners are not allowed into their properties.
”There can still be smoldering stumps, trees, downed power lines other kinds of hazards and we have to make sure all of that is in a safe condition before homeowners can go back into their homes,” David Shell said.
Public meetings concerning the fire are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Ruidoso High School gym and the Lincoln County fairgrounds at 7 p.m.