Air tankers, helicopters attack New Mexico fire

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — Air tankers and helicopters have been taking advantage of a break in the windy weather to drop water and fire retardant on New Mexico's first major wildfire of the season.

The Signal Fire in the Gila National Forest just north of Silver City has grown to more than 4,700 acres since being sparked Sunday.

New Mexico has been battered by drought and persistently high fire danger for the last few years, experiencing record-setting fire seasons during two of the last three years. Land managers are expressing concern this summer could be another record-setter, given the dry conditions.

As more than 280 firefighters and other personnel work to corral the Signal Fire, Gov. Susana Martinez is urging city and county leaders around the state to consider limiting the sale and use of fireworks. She says the state can't afford "even one careless, human-caused fire."

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APPHOTO NMSIL101: This Sunday May 11, 2014 photo shows plumes of smoke from a wildfire as cars drive on NM 15 in Pinos Altos, N.M. (AP Photo/Silver City Daily Press & Independent, Roger Lanse) (1 Jan 1980)

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