Signal Fire containment reaches 60 percent

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) – Crews have containment lines around 60 percent of a southwestern New Mexico wildfire as they go up against dry and windy conditions.

Fire managers said Sunday an “initial attack crew” is on standby in case hot spots flare up inside the 9-square-mile Signal Fire burning in the Gila National Forest.

They say high winds and dryness make the scenario extremely likely.

Authorities say the fire did not grow overnight and crews continue to work around the perimeter to ensure it doesn’t spread.

They say rising temperatures will make the next few days a critical period for fire activity.

More than 700 firefighters and other personnel are assigned to the fire. Aircraft also are on hand to drop retardant and water on the fire.

The human-caused fire started burning in rugged terrain about 10 miles north of Silver City on May 11.

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