PLACITAS, N.M. (KRQE) - The Piedra Fire in the Sandia Mountains showed actives flames and an extensive smoke plume Thursday afternoon when KRQE News 13 pilot-reporter Bob Martin flew over the scene.
At last count the fire had charred about 20 acres in a steep, forested canyon on the western face of the mountains.
Firefighters in the air and on the ground are working to contain it, but the remote location meant firefighters had to hike to it.
The fire was first reported about 3 a.m. By dawn it was about three acres; by noon 10 acres.
A U.S. Forest Service lead plane began coordinating the air assault guiding in two air tankers that are dropping retardant. A firefighting helicopter was quickly dropping buckets of water.
For the helicopter, ground crews set up mobile water tanks nearby to avoid long flights to gather water elsewhere.
Hotshot crews have been summoned from around north-central New Mexico for the ground attack.
While the flames occasionally hit heavy loads natural fuel, most of the fire activity has not been very aggressive. The fire is mostly staying close to the ground burning a lot of grass, brush and old fallen trees. It is moving fairly slowly with firefighters working on containment.
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