ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A small fire burning high on the west face of the Sandia Mountains is expected to be no match for water drops from a helicopter, according to the Bernalillo County Fire Department.
As of late Friday afternoon BCFD was setting up at the base of the Sandia Peak Tram to provide water for a helicopter assigned to the fire.
"Quick extinguishment is expected once this operation begins," BCFD said in a statement released to the news media.
After sunset, however, city residents were reporting flames visible in the darkness.
The Chimney Fire in Chimney Canyon is estimated to cover less than 0.5 acres and is north of La Luz Trail.
KRQE News 13 Meteorologist John Smith reports smoke from the fire is beginning to waft over the Crest and into the East Mountains.
BCFD says it has been in contact with East Mountain residents to inform them fire crews are working to contain the blaze.
This cause of the fire is not known although an unattended campfire is one possibility under investigation.
Fire crews from the Cibola National Forest have responded, and additional firefighters from Zuni Pueblo and the Souther Pueblo Agency also have been dispatched, according to a Cibola fire information officer.
The fire is in rugged terrain within the Sandia Mountains Wilderness, so ground crews are hiking in.
Officials have closed the La Luz Trail at the trailhead and on the Crest. The Piedra Lisa Trail along the base of the Sandias also is closed from near the La Luza trailhead to Placitas.
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