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Fire Contained on "M" Mountain, June 11, 2008

by Thomas Guengerich

SOCORRO, N.M., June 11, 2008 -- Windy conditions atop ‘M’ Mountain caused an electrical wire to arc, igniting a one-acre blaze in a remote area at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

About 10 firefighters from Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) went to the site as soon as smoke was spotted, according to associate director Mike Stanley.

They were soon joined by fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management and state forestry. In all, about two dozen firefighters worked for about 60 minutes to contain the blaze, he said. Stanley said fire crews reported the blaze fully contained at 6 p.m.

“It looks like an electrical wire arced, causing a spark, which ignited a small fire,” he said. “The site is very remote. We only have a steep, narrow, windy road that goes to the top of ‘M’ Mountain. And the fire was near the top.”

None of the equipment atop the mountain was threatened by the blaze, which was more than a half-mile from the summit, he said.

-NMT-