RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) - Residents just allowed back into the Little Bear Fire zone moved out again Saturday as a heavy thunderstorm on the burn scar led to warnings of flash flooding.
As much as 1 inch of rain fell early in the afternoon as the storm move northeastward from Sierra Blanca.
People in the area of Forest Road 107, Nazarene Camp, Bonito Lake and within 100 yards of any stream were told to leave, according to the fire management team.
Firefighters also were moved off fire lines to safer locations following a plan put in place earlier in the day when severe weather became a possibility.
The flash flood warning issued by the National Weather Service for south-central Lincoln County is in effect until 3 p.m.
Shortly after 1 p.m. hail up to 1 inch in diameter was reported in Ruidoso Downs, and by 3 p.m. Siera Blanca Regional Airport north of Ruidoso near the fire had received 0.16 inches of rain..
There were no immediate reports of flooding or flood-related damage.
Flooding has been on the minds of emergency managers since the fire took off a week ago stripping vegetation from the mountainsides above Ruidoso, Alto and numerous rural subdivision in the forest.
Ruidoso firefighters working between runs have been filling and stockpiling sandbags. They are available for residents' use at Station No. 1, 514 Sudderth Dr., and the Emergency Operations Center at Copper Ridge.
The storm also hit the scar of last year's White Fire above Ruidoso.
At 3 p.m. the weather service let its warning expire although it said some minor flooding may continue.
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