The Little Bear fire in the Ruidoso area has grown to more than 36,000 acres, and has now burned down 224 homes.
Thanks to some cooler temperatures, firefighters have made progress and the blaze is now 30 percent contained. They still expect the blaze to be highly active in some areas.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez was in town Tuesday morning to sign an executive order formally declaring a state of emergency in Lincoln County.
"It truly is heartbreaking to see the degree of damage to this part of the country," Martinez said.
As the fire continues to grow, residents who have been forced out of their homes continue to wonder if they will lose everything.
Officials from the county assessor's office said the damage so far is worth $11.5 million. There are still many areas officials need to see so the damage may turn out to be much worse than that.
At this point, evacuees are concerned by all the rumors going around. Many of them have not been back to see their properties so they rely on hearsay to know if they've lost everything. Fire officials stressed the importance of waiting for word from the sheriff's office before believing rumors.
Martinez repeated that importance after seeing the damage that took down entire neighborhoods in some parts and just parts of homes in others.
In some areas, the damage is isolated, leaving one house in perfect condition and everything around it burned. Then there are areas where homes were completely flattened from the fire and completely burned.
Assessments of the damage will continue over the next few days and the sheriff's office will notify residents of their status of their homes as soon as possible.