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The Latest: Tribal president lifts evacuation orders

June 9, 2018

MESCALERO, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on New Mexico wildfires (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

Authorities say Mescalero Apache Tribal President Arther “Butch” Blazer has lifted evacuation orders issued because of a wildfire near Mescalero on the tribe’s reservation in southern New Mexico.

An announcement posted Saturday on the New Mexico Fire Information interagency website asks returning residents to not enter the area of the fire and to drive slowly while watching for firefighters traveling in the area or assessing structural protection needs for the future.

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12:45 p.m.

Ground crews backed by fire engines and helicopters are clearing containment lines around a wildfire to keep it away from homes, a school and power lines in the town of Mescalero on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in southern New Mexico.

The fire has burned 2 square miles (5 sq. kilometers) of pine forest on tribal land a mile (1.6 kilometers) from Mescalero with containment lines around 5 percent of the perimeter.

A top-tier incident management team that assumed command Saturday said there was minimal growth of the fire overnight and that a previous, larger size estimate was reduced after more accurate mapping.

No structures have been destroyed but officials said 100 homes were under evacuation orders.

Cause of the fire’s start Thursday was under investigation. I

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