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Search resumes for firefighter in N.M. forest

JEMEZ SPRINGS, N.M. — Crews were searching Monday for a Forest Service firefighter who vanished in the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico last week while sizing up a wildfire’s perimeter.

Forest Service spokeswoman Karen Takai said 100 searchers were scouring mesas and canyons amid heavy timber, brush, and grass for 41-year-old Token Adams in the area of Jemez Springs.

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Adams, who was riding an all-terrain vehicle, failed to return to a prearranged meeting point Friday afternoon with two other firefighters — also riding ATVs around the 25-acre wildfire southeast of Fenton Lake.

Forest Service spokesman John Helmich said the lightning-started wildfire was contained late Friday.

Takai said the search area initially covered about 25 square miles, but has since expanded to about 30 square miles.

Searchers include State Police, firefighters, and volunteer search and rescue crews. Tracking dogs, air patrols, and teams on horseback were also looking for Adams, as was a State Police helicopter equipped with an infrared camera.

Helmich said Adams, like all Forest Service firefighters, was required to have protective gear and a pack that would have included an emergency shelter, water, and food.

‘‘If we find a location where he may have left, we’ll look where his track started and we’ll work off of ground disturbance and air scent,’’ David Chavez, a dog-handling officer with the Forest Service, told KRQE-TV.

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