New Mexico wildfire containment reaches 50 percent

Posted at: 05/17/2014 10:02 AM
Updated at: 05/17/2014 6:33 PM
By: The Associated Press

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — Crews have containment lines around 50 percent of a southwestern New Mexico wildfire but say weather conditions could spark smaller fires.

Fire managers say crews are working Saturday along the edge of the 9-square-mile Signal Fire burning in the Gila National Forest.

They say high winds and dryness make the ignition of spot fires within the blaze's perimeters extremely likely.

Authorities say the rising temperatures will make the next five days a critical period for fire activity.

Nearly 700 firefighters and other personnel are assigned to the fire. Aircraft also are on hand to drop retardant and water on the fire.

The human-caused fire started burning in timber and grass in rugged terrain about 10 miles north of Silver City on Sunday.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)