ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Firefighters are keeping a close eye on flames in the Foothills. Fire crews remain on the scene of that blaze near the High Desert neighborhood, which has burned about 53 acres and is 50% contained.
It didn’t take long for the fire at the Michael Emery Trailhead near Tramway and Academy to spread early Tuesday evening. The fire and smoke have since died down and 50 personnel are currently at the scene. “There is always a risk for a fire in our open spaces or our bosque areas. We’ve always tried to keep everybody warned that even though we’ve had a lot of precipitation in the last few months, there’s always a risk of a wildfire,” AFR Lt. Tom Ruiz said.
The fire broke out just before 6 p.m. and KRQE News 13 was told you could see the smoke as far away as Rio Rancho. City, county, and federal crews worked together to battle the flames. They’ve had firefighters attacking it from the ground and in the air.
They say the chopper dropping buckets of water on the flames significantly helped the fire from spreading. For people who live close by, they say watching the Sandias burn is heartbreaking. “You hope that there’s a relatively low impact, hope that people are safe, hope that no one’s house is destroyed, just a bummer,” Stephen Stromberg.
There are homes a quarter mile away from where the fire was, but thankfully the wind pushed the smoke and flames away. Crews will be out monitoring the area throughout the night.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Crews stayed busy Tuesday night after a separate fire broke out near Edith and Griegos. The fire started just before 7 p.m. at Friedman Recycling.
Black smoke filled the air before a loud boom was heard. AFR says the fire is contained, but crews were still on scene monitoring. No one was injured. The cause is still under investigation.
Fire Chief Paul Down and Mayor Tim Keller will visit the site of fire Thursday. The visit will be a chance to assess conditions as fire season approaches.