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The FBI has announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for starting recent wildfires in New Mexico that destroyed more than 1,000 homes.

This announcement marks the first time law enforcement officials have implicated potential nefarious involvement in these fires. The wildfires, which ignited near the city of Ruidoso last Monday, have resulted in the deaths of two individuals and the displacement of thousands of residents.

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As of Sunday, the South Fork Fire was 26 percent contained, while the Salt Fire had spread over 7% contained. According to officials, full containment of these fires, which continue to burn on both sides of Ruidoso, is not expected until July 15.


The fires have wreaked havoc across southern New Mexico, destroying over 1,400 structures. State officials have said that the fires caused extensive damage to existing power, water, sewer, and gas lines, and electric officials warned that outages could last for several days.

In response to the disaster, President Biden issued a major disaster declaration for New Mexico last week, which enabled federal funding for affected individuals in the Mescalero Apache Tribe and Lincoln County. Per the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this declaration facilitates temporary housing, home repairs, loans for uninsured property losses, and other recovery programs.


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