NM firefighters battle blaze in Sandia Mountains

-A A +A

BERNALILLO, N.M. (AP) — A wildfire is burning in the Sandia Mountains just north of Albuquerque.

The fire began around 2:30 a.m. Thursday and grew to an estimated 50 acres by the evening.

Officials say no structures are in danger and the cause of the blaze near the historic village of Placitas is unknown.

Albuquerque health officials issued a health alert due to wildfire smoke until Friday morning.

Firefighters battled the blaze on the ground and from the air, with helicopters and planes dropping water and fire retardant on the flames.

Among the firefighters are two hand crews made up of 20 men and women who are part of the state's Veteran Fire Crew Pilot Program. This is the crew's first assignment since being established earlier this year by the New Mexico State Forestry Division.