JEMEZ, N.M. (KRQE) - The search continued Sunday night for a firefighter in the Jemez wilderness. Sunday marked the third day search crews have been trying to find Jemez Ranger District firefighter, Token Adams.
Adams was responding to a fire in the Jemez Friday afternoon, but he never reported to the pre-planned meeting point.
New Mexico search and rescue crews, volunteers from around the state, and firefighters are out looking for one of their own.
Adams was on an ATV, responding to a lightning-sparked fire in the Santa Fe National Forest, southeast of Fenton Lake, when he failed to meet up with his crew.
Rescue crews said the last known contact with Adams was a phone call to his wife Friday around 1 p.m. "We have a good idea of where that call was made from, so we focused a search pretty heavily today with our search dogs into that area," explained Wes Crownover, State Police Incident Commander.
Rescue crews have detailed maps covering roughly 25 square miles of land, much of which is rugged terrain with several windy roads.
Fellow firefighters said they never heard a call for help from Adams. So far, his ATV has not turned up.
"If we find a location where he may have left, we'll look where his track started and we'll work off of ground disturbance and air scent," explained David Chavez, K-9 officer with the U.S. Forest Service.
Roughly 75 people are on the ground searching for Adams. State Police chopper Able 6 is using their forward looking infrared camera to search the terrain.
"Time is of the essence, we're putting as many resources and many individuals out on forest properties," said Sergeant Emmanuel Gutierrez, with New Mexico State Police.
Rescue crews said when Adams called his wife, he did not appear to be in trouble. Officials said Adams has survival gear, such as food and water, and they're staying hopeful they'll find him safely.
“The individual is well equipped, he’s well trained, he’s got food and water and radio and a cell phone. But when you get into this back country you can’t always talk out with the convenience we would have here in this semi-urban area we’re at right now,” Search and Rescue volunteer, Larry Zentner said.
Search crews told News 13 Sunday night, they've had some light rain in the area, but it has not affected their ground search efforts.
As of Sunday night, search crews have not come up with anything. Adams' family contacted News 13, asking for prayers for his safe return. Search crews say Adams is familiar with the area, but there has been no signal from him on cell phone or radio.
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