RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) - Families who fled the Little Bear Fire are starting to go home, and some of the people with homes inside the fire lines saw first-hand Wednesday that their home is still standing.
Other hundreds of families and property owners who were unlucky in this fire are learning their homes and cabins burned to the ground in the rush of an out-of-control wildfire.
Janette Johnson is one of the lucky ones.
She learned from seeing KRQE News 13 Skyranger video that her home in the middle of the fire zone was one of just a few standing in her neighborhood.
On Wednesday Johnson and her family got a sheriff's escort in and saw just how close the Little Bear Fire came to leveling her home.
"The back wall of our house, it came eight feet from the house," Johnson told KRQE News 13. "The front part where our deck is I estimate is about 20 feet."
Hundreds of other evacuees are getting antsy.
The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office will have the final say on when evacuated areas can be reopened.
One of the people waiting with them is Detective Sgt. Kenneth Cramer with the sheriff's office.
"I've been out of my house since 8:30 Friday night, sleeping on the floor of my office," Cramer said. "It makes my back ache."
He's urging patience among the evacuees waiting to return. The message from the county is simply, we want to get you home as soon as possible but not at the cost of safety.
No casualties have been reported so far from this fire; they want to keep it that way.
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