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Are you searching for friends and family in the South Fork or Salt fires? Find and leave messages here.

Evacuees settle in at the Eastern New Mexico University gymnasium Tuesday, June 18, 2024 after evacuating the Ruidoso area because of the South Fork and Salt fires.
Leah Romero
Source New Mexico
Evacuees settle in at the Eastern New Mexico University gymnasium Tuesday, June 18, 2024 after evacuating the Ruidoso area because of the South Fork and Salt fires.

As people evacuate from the South Fork and Salt fires, KUNM is working with Source New Mexico and other news outlets to help people connect with loved ones and friends. We set up a Google Voice number and Speak Pipe for you to record messages for people you are searching for or to let friends and family know you are safe.

We will post transcripts of those messages here. We may also broadcast these on air and a reporter may call you to follow up and interview you.

Please follow these guidelines:

  • Leave your first and last name, and spell them
  • Tell us where you are from
  • Leave your message

The number to call is ‪(505) 738-4020. You can also click the button below and record a message.


  • Hi, my name is Angela Arguedas from Alamogordo. I'm looking for my dad. Victor Arguedas. He's from Ruidoso and he's supposed to be in evacuation, but I haven't heard anything from him.
    • UPDATE from Angela on Friday: Angela was able to reach her father, Victor.
  • My name is Cyndi Cadena. I need a welfare check for my father, Jesse Cadena, who goes by Jesus. He lives at 116 Miriam Street, Ruidoso Downs. He's 83 years old and didn't want to leave the premises. He is on oxygen. My phone number is 575-639-3747. He could also be at 102 Merriam Drive with my brother-in-law, Rob Taylor. We haven't heard from them. Thank you.
    • UPDATE from Cyndi on Wednesday afternoon: The National Guard went to her father's place, but he said he's waiting for the rain and refused to evacuate.
    • Read more about Cyndi and Jesus here.
  • Hello, this is Juan and Kiana Cortez. We're looking for family — CJ DeYoung, Wendy DeYoung, Char Meek and David Meek. [Spellings approximate] We need to get in contact with him. We haven't been able to. Thank you.
    • UPDATE: From Juan on Tuesday morning: He says his loved ones have been found safe.
  • Hello, my name is Dennis Harriman. And I'm searching to find the whereabouts of Pat and Dan Jones from Ruidoso. I want to make sure they're okay and and got out. My phone number is 619-598-3339. Pat's brother,. Henry, is trying to get in touch with her also. Please if we can get that message to her and have her call. Either either Henry or myself. It would be appreciated. Thank you so much. God bless.
  • My name is Chris Murphy. I'm looking for my mother, Carolyn Murphy, who was being evacuated from Ruidoso. And any help that I can get would be much appreciated. Thank you.
    • UPDATE from Chris Friday morning: Carolyn has been found.
  • Danny Rivera from Central Arizona, Robert and Shelly Martos are you all ok? Get ahold of me please.
    • UPDATE from Danny on Wednesday afternoon: He found Robert and Shelly in Mescalero.
  • Hi, this is Carol Cluff. We are from Ruidoso. We are trying to locate my brother, Jay Richardson. He does not have a working phone. We and his work have been trying to contact him to make sure of his safety and where he is. Our only contact has been emailing. There's been no response. If he could please reach out and let us know his location we appreciate it. As a side note to me from me. I can't get through to any phone numbers to the village for lack of service to request a well check. Perhaps you have a number that can help me contact who I need to so that they might be able to go by and do that for us. Thank you, bye-bye. NOTE: The Emergency Operations Center has been moved to Fire Station 1 according to the https://www.ruidoso-nm.gov/south-fork-fire. The number there is 202-794-5044.
    • UPDATE: From Carol on Wednesday afternoon: Thank you for your information and follow up. I was unable to make any connection with phone numbers in Ruidoso or Ruidoso Downs last night due to lack of service. I contacted Roswell state police last night for well check as I knew they were helping in town. They found my brother at home and well. Thank you again, your efforts are appreciated and helpful at a stressful time. Carol Cluff
  • Hi, this is Susy Barrera. I am from Reno, Nevada. I am looking for my dad, Rogelio Barrera.
    • UPDATE from Susy Friday afternoon: Susy said she has spoken with Rogelio.
  • Dorothy Lemos, I'm calling from Florida. This is for my mother, Delfina Pearl de la Torre. She called me last from Capitan and she didn't tell me which shelter she was in. Please see if she could give me a call or let me know that she's okay. Thank you.
  • Hello. My name is Sarah Prouty and I am calling because I am looking for my sister and my nephew. her name is Skylah Johnson and Easton Phillips. Easton is her 10-year-old son. Upon the evacuation my mom and uncle were stuck on Highway 70 in heavy traffic because everyone was trying to evacuate at once. And my mom's family friend without her house with my nephew and my sister. She called and asked them to evacuate. We had assumed they left to Hondo. They never showed up where the meeting place was discussed and this morning she randomly got a hold of a friend on Facebook and sent a picture of her at my uncle's house, which the address is 201 Upper Terrace Drive that is off of Meacham, very close to the fire. I do not know why they traveled the wrong direction or why they went to the apartments where everyone's been evacuated, why they would be closer to the fire. None of it makes sense, but she told them that she was being smoked out really bad and I don't know, like there's no more contact and nobody can reach and I don't know what to do. I was told to call this number and leave a message. Hoping that someone could call me back. My number is 575-689-5827. Thank you.
    • UPDATE from Sarah on Wednesday afternoon: Her sister and nephew were picked up with a flat tire.
  • Hello my name is Angel Aguirre. My phone number is 760-701-0736. I'm looking for my mother and father, Yolanda Aguirre and Angel Aguirre. They were in Ruidoso and I'm in California. Can someone please give me a call and let me know that they're okay?
    • UPDATE from Angel on Friday: He has found his parents, who are safe.
  • Hi, my name is Stacy Alan from Chicago. We are looking for my aunt and uncle, Evelyn and Bill Kennedy. They're both from Ruidoso and they're both quite elderly and we have not been able to get in touch with them. If anyone is able to find them or has more information about them.
    • UPDATE from Stacy on Wednesday afternoon: We have tracked my aunt and uncle down.
  • My name is Martha Barraza. I'm from Albuquerque. I am looking for my uncle Alfredo Monarrez. His address is in Ruidoso. We have not heard from him since the fire started and we are worried and we are trying to locate him and make sure he's okay.
    • UPDATE from Martha on Friday: State Police made contact with Alfredo and he's ok.
  • My name is Don Ortega. I'm from Ruidoso. And I'm worried about one of our neighbors, Larry Nix. His number is 432-638-4502. I try to call him and pick up the phone. And I texted him to contact me, let me know he's all right. And he hasn't done that and we left the fire Monday and my other neighbor left the fire. But he's the only neighbor that hasn't checked in with our association. And that's why I was worried. Thank you.
    • UPDATE from Don on Friday: His neighbor Larry has been found safe.
  • Hi, my name is Daniel Wertman. I live in Indianapolis, and I am looking for my sister Elizabeth Corey. She lives in Ruidoso, and I believe she's evacuated, but we've been unable to reach her because none of the phones are working, and I'm very concerned, so Libby if if you get this message, please give me a call. Thank you.
    • UPDATE from Daniel on Friday: He has found his sister and she's ok.
  • First name Shay Matthews. I'm from Costa Mesa. I'm looking for my brother Scott Tarver. He lives in Ruidoso Brady Canyon.
    • UPDATE: From Shay on Friday: She found her brother Scott.
  • My name is Ellen Darity. I'm from Marlow Oklahoma, and I was just calling to make sure our friends Betty and Phillip Slay also owners of The Riverdeck are safe. And please let me know. Thank you.
    • UPDATE from Ellen on Sunday: I just wanted to let you know I spoke with the owner of the cabin and they are safe. Thank you very much for your help and your concern.
  • Debbie Terwelp. I'm looking for my brother, Mark Terwelp. He was living in Ruiodoso. I haven't heard from him. Thank you.
  • My name is Trevor Terwelp from Round Rock, Texas. I'm looking for my dad, Mark Terwelp, and his dog, Daisy. They were last in Ruidoso staying at an RV lodge and we've been trying to get in contact with him and haven't heard from him since, and we would just like to know if he's alright.
  • My name is Daniel Simms. I'm from Albuquerque. I'm looking for my mother and my father their names are Leanne Simms and Josh Simms. They were traveling in a white BMW SUV Ruidoso area at the time the fire started and please call me back if you have any information.
    • UPDATE from Daniel Friday morning: His parents have been found and are safe.
  • Hi. My name is Cheri Meis. I'm looking for Brandee Scott. She lives in Ruidoso on 100 Terrace Drive Unit #2. I spoke with her on Tuesday evening, and have not been able to get a hold of her since. Brandee, if you see this message, please call Aunt Cheri.
    • UPDATE: from Cheri on Friday: She has connected with Brandee, who is safe.
  • Hello, my name is Chayo Romero. I am from El Paso, Texas. And I am calling in regards to my first cousin. Alfredo Morales. His family and I are concerned as to his whereabouts we haven't heard from him. Thank you.
    • UPDATE from Chayo Friday morning: We called the police for a wellness check and they found him in his cabin. He doesn't want to evacuate.
  • Hello, this is Brian Shultz. I'm trying to locate my aunt and my cousin from Ruidoso and Alto, New Mexico. My aunt is Nancy Otey. And my cousin is Dana Otey. Thank you.
    • UPDATE from Brian on Tuesday morning: They are safe and back home! The fire came up to Nancy's foundation wall and burned the A/C unit, but the home is largely untouched.

Numbers to Call for Finding People

  • 1-800-Red Cross (1-800-733-2767)
  • 202-794-5044
  • 833-633-4736

Southwest Incident Management Team #5 Facebook page

New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management fire resources

Public Information Line: 575-323-8258

South Fork/Salt Fires Information Hub

Reunite Ruidoso Facebook page

Disaster Unemployment Assistance - Department of Workforce Solutions

Tribal members who have been displaced outside of the Mescalero Apache Reservation due to the fires are strongly encouraged to contact the Tribe's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to help you and your families get back to the reservation. If you're stranded out of town at other evacuation sites, please call the EOC at 575-464-9214 for more details.

A South Fork Fire Emergency Closure Order was issued on June 20, 2024, for national forest lands within the Smokey Bear Ranger District. The identified areas, and roads and trails therein, are closed to public access to allow firefighting personnel to work and through the fire area safely. More information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/lincoln/alerts-notices/?aid=88199.

A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the fire area. Public/commercial drone flights are also prohibited within this area. If you fly, officials may have to ground our air resources. Visit https://www.tfr.faa.gov for more information.

Financial and other support
The Southern New Mexico Community Foundation in partnership with the Community Foundation of Lincoln County is currently directing efforts to Lincoln and Otero counties through the Greatest Needs Impact Fund. This fund provides financial resources to support the immediate and long-term recovery needs for the people, animals, and places affected by the devastating wildfires in Southern New Mexico. The fund is also supported by the ongoing Shelter Fund, New Mexico Wildfire Relief Fund, and Emergency Action Fund held within the Albuquerque Community Foundation. Those wishing to contribute can do so here.

Verified GoFundMe fundraisers to support New Mexico wildfire victims

The University of New Mexico Athletic Department will be collecting items to aid fire victims Monday June 24 through Wednesday June 26 from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. at the Stadium West parking lot. They're accepting toiletries and hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and batteries.

Shelters are available at the following locations:

· The Inn of the Mountain Gods Convention Center, 287 Carrizo Canyon Road, Mescalero

· Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Gym, 52 B University Blvd.

· Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, 2500 SE Main St., Roswell

· New Mexico Military Institute Athletic Center, 101 W College Blvd., Roswell

· Church on the Move, 901 W. Brasher Rd., Roswell

· Church on the Move Dream Center, 2700 W. Second, Ruidoso

· Capitan High School, 519 Smokey Bear Blvd., Capitan

· Carrizozo High School, 800 D Ave., Carrizozo

· Christ Community Church, 2960 N Scenic Dr., Alamogordo

The New Mexico Military Institute, 101 W. College Blvd, and Roswell Civic Center, 912 N. Main Street, are accepting evacuees sheltering with leashed pets.

VCA is offering boarding at the following two local locations:

Additionally, for pet owners bracing for potential evacuation outside of the Ruidoso Village area, here are few reminders of what to pack:

  • Food and water for 14 days
  • Medication for 14 days
  • Leach and collar/harness with ID tags
  • Crate/carrier with bedding
  • Comfort items such as toys
  • Your veterinarian’s info and pet’s medical records
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Photos of you with your pet
  • Cat litter, litter boxes, trash bags

Evacuation of large animals/livestock:
ENM Fairgrounds, 2500 S.E. Main, in Roswell, and Lea County Fairgrounds, 101 S. Commercial Street, Lovington, are offering stable space and RV hookups. Contact Lea County Fairgrounds Director Wyatt Duncan at 575-333-0252.

Health info
Individuals sensitive to wildfire smoke should take precautions and use the New Mexico Department of Health 5-3-1 Visibility Method to determine if it’s safe to be outside. Learn more at https://nmtracking.doh.nm.gov/environment/air/FireAndSmoke.html

Check current smoke conditions in your area here: https://fire.airnow.gov/.

Social Media/ Internet:
Incident Map URL: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/mapviewer/index.html?webmap=e2c6d99f914c44cbb18b75e73beef035

More information about shelters and evacuations can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/villageofruidoso

Megan has been a journalist for 25 years and worked at business weeklies in San Antonio, New Orleans and Albuquerque. She first came to KUNM as a phone volunteer on the pledge drive in 2005. That led to volunteering on Women’s Focus, Weekend Edition and the Global Music Show. She was then hired as Morning Edition host in 2015, then the All Things Considered host in 2018. Megan was hired as News Director in 2021.
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