New Mexico wildfires close hospital

Two wildfires in Southeastern New Mexico have caused the deaths of two people, the evacuation of 5,000 people and closed a hospital, Source New Mexico reported June 18.

The fires started June 15 and originated in or near the Mescalero Apache Reservation. A total of 5,000 people have fled the Ruidoso area.

Four patients from Ruidoso-based Lincoln County Medical Center and 15 patients from the Good Life Senior Living and Memory Care Ruidoso were evacuated and transferred to other facilities.

The hospital is closed but has not sustained damage, CEO Todd Oberheu told Becker's. It has not been determined when it will reopen.

"Our thoughts are with everyone on our staff and in our Ruidoso community, who are facing tremendous challenges and uncertainty due to the wildfires," Mr. Oberheu said.

As of June 18, the fires had engulfed more than 20,000 acres and damaged 1,400 buildings, according to the report.

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