- Associated Press - Thursday, July 6, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Crews are battling a new wildfire near Sandia Crest.

Authorities were flooded with 911 calls from Albuquerque residents early Thursday as the column of smoke could be seen from the city. The fire was first reported about 7 a.m. and had burned a couple of acres by midmorning.

Forest officials say the flames are less than a mile north of the communication towers on the crest.

Several crews with the U. S. Forest Service and Bernalillo County are on scene. They’re getting help from two helicopters.

Cibola National Forest spokeswoman Donna Nemeth says the fire is burning in mixed conifer in an area with a lot of dead and down woody debris.

The fire has forced the closure of the Sandia Crest Trail north of the Crest House.

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