RUIDOSO, N.M. — A wind-driven wildfire swept through neighborhoods in a mountain community in drought-stricken south-central New Mexico, burning at least 150 structures and forcing the evacuations of schools with 1,700 students, officials said Wednesday.

Homes were among the structures that burned on Tuesday but officials did not have a count of how many were destroyed in the blaze that torched at least 6.4 square miles (16.6 square kilometers) of forest, brush and grass on the east side of the community of Ruidoso, said Laura Rabon, spokesperson for the Lincoln National Forest.

No deaths or injuries were reported from the fire fanned by winds gusting between 50 mph (80 kph) and 90 mph (155 kph), Rabon said. The cause of the fire was under investigation.


Ruidoso’s high school and middle school were evacuated but the schools didn’t burn, Rabon said.

The residences that burned were mostly a mix of trailers and single-family homes, Rabon said.

Rabon said the fire continued to burn overnight but was less intense and and wind conditions Wednesday were expected to be less severe.

However, no precipitation was in the forecast and humidity levels remained low, Rabon said.

“Those extremely dry conditions are not in our favor, she said.

Another wildfire in the Lincoln National Forest northwest of Ruidoso burned at least 400 acres (1.6 square kilometers) after it was sparked Tuesday by power lines downed by high winds, Rabon said.

Elsewhere in New Mexico, wildfires were burning along the Rio Grande south of Albuquerque, in mountains northwest of the community of Las Vegas and in grasslands along the Pecos River near the town of Roswell.