04/04/2011 5:01PM

Ruidoso Downs largely untouched in fire


A 6,500-acre forest fire that swept through the town of Ruidoso Downs, N.M., on Sunday afternoon inflicted little damage to the racetrack Ruidoso Downs. The corner of one barn was burned as a result of the fire that roared adjacent to the track, according to a release issued by Ruidoso.

The fire grew as the result of high winds and dry conditions, and as of Monday afternoon it was not fully contained. The fire is currently burning east of Ruidoso Downs, but is not a threat to the track, according to the release issued Monday.

"We are very fortunate," said Jean Stoddard, the general manager of Ruidoso Downs. "We are very thankful for the courageous work of firefighters, the police, and all of the responders. They're amazing. Our hearts and prayers are with the fellow members of our community who have been impacted by the fire."

Ruidoso Downs does not open its meet until May 27. Horses can begin coming onto the grounds April 25, with training to start on April 29.

Ruidoso's ontrack casino, which had been closed as a result of the fire, has reopened. There were five homes in the area destroyed because of the blaze, but no reports of deaths or serious injury, according to the release issued by Ruidoso.