Hikers Rescued Near Wildfire

May 26, 2012

The New Mexico National Guard came to the rescue of six hikers who apparently got disoriented due to smoke from a raging wildfire in the southwestern part of the state.  A guard spokesman says the hikers were spotted Friday and one of them had an injured knee and had to be taken to safety by a ground ambulance.

The other four hikers were able to walk out of the Turkey Canyon area about 50 miles south of Silver City.

Col. Michael Montoya says all the hikers are fine. He couldn't immediately provide their names or why they were out hiking in an area where a wildfire was approaching.

The Gila Wilderness blaze is two lightning-sparked fires that have merged and grown to 85,000 acres or more than 130 square miles.


It is casting a haze over the Sandia Mountains as smoke from the blaze spreads across the state and into Arizona.

Health officials in Albuquerque and Santa Fe have issued alerts for the holiday weekend, advising people to limit outdoor activities, keep windows closed and avoid swamp coolers.

The privately owned ghost town of Mogollon was placed under a voluntary evacuation order as firefighters worked to tame the Gila Wilderness blaze, which has grown to 85,000 acres or nearly 130 square miles.

Two lightning-sparked fires merged Wednesday to form the wildfire, which has destroyed 12 cabins and seven small outbuildings.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.