The Billy The Kid Casino has reopened and Ruidoso Downs is ready for horses to move into the stable area April 25 after the 6,500-acre White Fire burned adjacent to the New Mexico track’s property April 3
The corner of one barn was burned and work has already begun to repair the damage, primarily to a tack room, according to an April 4 Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino press release.
“We are very fortunate,” said Ruidoso Downs general manager Jean Stoddard. “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.”
The White Fire started early in the afternoon of April 3 and the cause is unknown. The blaze was whipped by high winds in dry conditions. The winds subsided overnight, yet the fire is not contained. It continues to burn east of Ruidoso Downs and is no threat to Ruidoso Downs and the Billy The Kid Casino.
Five homes have been destroyed by the wildfire and firefighters’ top priority is protecting homes and structures. There have been no reports of deaths or serious injury.
Firefighting teams are using bulldozers and planes are dropping slurry on the blaze during the reduced wind.
The summer racing season at Ruidoso Downs will start May 27.