FENTON LAKE, N.M. (KRQE) - The search for a firefighter missing in the Jemez Mountains is now in its sixth day but nothing has turned up so far.
Now the Southwest Incident Management Type Ope Team has joined the New Mexico State Police search and rescue efforts in hopes their experience will help uncover new clues.
Token Adams and two other firefighters rode out on all-terrain vehicles Friday to check a small fire near Fenton Lake in the Jemez Ranger District.
Adams never showed up at their rendezvous point.
The incident command center in the area has been waiting for good news like a track or a scent from the number of search crews who are deep in the woods, but so far, there's been nothing.
As search and rescue crews got their orders Wednesday morning, the mindset was the same on day six – to find Adams, a 10-year wildland firefighter and Navy Special Forces veteran.
Ground crews are working a grid pattern through rugged terrain and steep canyons.
“I always look for a live person. So to me, he's alive. I'm looking for him. If I thought he was deceased, I would not be here,” said Bob Rodgers of New Mexico State Police Search and Rescue. “I'm looking for him and will keep looking for him until we find him.”
More K-9 units were brought in Wednesday, such as Mica of the Torrance County Fire Department.
“Her sense of smell and alertness is keen. She's very driven,” said Dustin Waite of the Torrance County Fire Department, referring to the dog.
Planes and helicopters have been looking for Adams from the air while searchers on horseback work down below.
“These situations are always difficult because it's the unknown,” said David Shell of the Incident Management Team. “People will say, ‘Well, how could this happen? How could someone who knows the forest become lost?’ But, maybe he didn't become lost. Maybe there was an accident. Again, it's the great unknown.”
Search crews have been able to eliminate some places on the map and they’re determined not to leave behind one of their own.
“When you work with a crew or ranger district, you all become family,” said Shell. “And then someone goes missing. It's extremely trying.”
Token is a former Hotshot firefighter who is known to have excellent survival skills. He had food and water with him when he disappeared, so searchers continue to be optimistic.
Hotshot crews have been requested to help in the search, but many of them are working fires in the Northwest.
There has not been a timeframe set on how long the search and rescue mission will continue.
Adams has a pregnant wife and 3-year-old son.
While the roads were looking clearer Friday morning in the Albuquerque area, appearances can be deceiving
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