Ruidoso Resident Says Wildfire Was ‘the Scariest Day’ Ever

By Logan Ryan   •   April 26, 2022

Six crisis-trained chaplains from the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) served in Ruidoso, New Mexico, home to 7,000 residents and a popular summer vacation spot.
When the McBride Fire raced through Ruidoso on April 12, an older couple was killed while trying to evacuate. Fueled by dry timber in the Rocky Mountains, the fire destroyed more than 200 homes and burned over 6,000 acres.
The team had a Mobile Ministry Center (pictured here) set up for Ruidoso residents seeking spiritual or emotional care.
Chaplains offered a listening ear and prayer, and gave out helpful reading materials while pointing people to Christ.
Local Karen Roach (not pictured) said, "I just could tell it was our neighborhood. An absolute horror. [It was] the scariest day of my life. I don't know what I was actually thinking. I thought maybe my house would still be here. I was just hoping and praying that it was. It’s just gone. If it weren’t for our faith, we wouldn’t be where we’re at now."
Emily* was home from college and decided to take a nap in her family’s newly built log home. She was sound asleep and home alone as her family frantically called to warn her about the oncoming fire, but all communications were down. Authorities would not let her mom enter the road to their home. Her mother collapsed on the ground crying and called her husband, who responded, “Let’s pray and try to call her phone once more.” This time, Emily answered and heard her father yell, “Fire! Get out now!” Emily quickly ran and opened the front door. She saw rolls of fire coming down from the roof and about to touch the door. She ran through a small opening and sped off in her car down the road, where she saw her mother still kneeling on the ground crying. She yelled, “Mom!” and ran into her arms. Emily is suffering with nightmares and PTSD symptoms, but told chaplains she trusts the Lord and knows He brought her through the fire and will help her to fully recover. *Name changed for privacy.
Please pray for recovering Ruidoso.