Silver Fire in southern NM now state's largest

Posted at: 06/18/2013 10:05 AM | Updated at: 06/18/2013 1:05 PM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A nearly 39-square-mile blaze in southern New Mexico's Gila National Forest is now the state's largest active wildfire.

Officials said Tuesday that dry conditions and wind helped spark the Silver Fire to grow overnight. In addition, low humidity aided the fire into moving into Railroad Canyon on the inferno's northwest side and into Carbonate and Rattlesnake Canyons.

The fire is still only 5 percent contained.

Incident Commander Matt Reidy said that he was pleased with the progress firefighters made in structure protection around the historic mining town of Kingston and the Royal John Mine.

More than 500 firefighters are battling the blaze.

A Burned Area Emergency Response team is scheduled Tuesday to arrive on the fire area to evaluate the burned area and develop a plan to prevent flooding.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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