Plumes of smoke from the McBride Fire are seen in Lincoln County, N.M., on Tuesday. The blaze in Ruidoso had blackened more than 4,100 acres by early Wednesday, according to officials. Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service/Lincoln National Forest/Facebook
April 14 (UPI) -- Two people have died after trying to flee the 0%-contained 5,381-acre McBride Fire that continues to ravage the village of Ruidoso, New Mexico, officials said.
Local firefighters responded to a structure fire on Tuesday afternoon at a home on Gavilan Canyon Road, according to New Mexico State Police.
The Ruidoso Police Department learned later that evening of an elderly couple who attempted to evacuate. The couple's family could not account for their whereabouts.
Ruidoso detectives and state police investigators found the couple's remains at the burned home on Wednesday.
State and local officials continue to investigate the deaths.
The couple's identities have not been released as medical examiners work to determine the cause and manner of death, according to a press release from the police.
The McBride Fire broke out around noon Tuesday amid 70-mph winds in the Lincoln County portion of the Sierra Blanca mountain range.
By Wednesday night, more Ruidoso residents were forced to evacuate as the fire jumped Gavilan Canyon Road.
Winds exceeding 60 mph prevented air operations from flying above the blaze Tuesday, but have since subsided to allow an aerial attack of the McBride Fire, the Lincoln National Forest reported.
Nine aircraft were assigned to fight the uncontained blaze as of Wednesday night, officials said.
The McBride Fire is one of five wildfires -- including the Nogal Canyon, Overflow, Big Hole and Hermit's Peak fires -- that have prompted thousands to evacuate as the blazes have scorched over 13,000 acres in New Mexico this week.
Strong winds and hot, dry weather have fueled the wildfires.