ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A sleeper fire from a lightning strike five days ago is under attack in the Manzano Wilderness as are five widely scattered fires newly reported in the Gila National Forest.
The Manzano fire, dubbed the Big Jeffrey Fie, was reported about 1:30 p.m. Friday and is believed to be from a smoldering lightning strike left by a storm on Sunday that finally burst into flame, a spokesperson for the Cibola National Forest said.
The fire is estimated at 0.25 acre and is west of the Manzano Crest Trail and south of its junction with the Red Canyon Trail.
Three single-engine aerial tankers have been dropping retardant around the fire as ground crews hike in from Red Canyon.
Four of the five fires in the Gila also are reported to be small, and all likely were caused by lightning. Two are in the northern part of the Gila Wilderness, two near Emory Pass in the southeast corner of the forest and one near State Route 32 near Glenwood.
One of the northern fires about 40 miles north of Silver City was reported late Friday to have grown to about 40 acres. It is threatening one structure on a ranch, according to a forest spokesperson.
Three air tankers are working that fire, and two ground crews and a team of smoke jumpers are on their way.
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