The Gato Fire was “aggressively suppressed” by firefighters over the weekend.

According to the Forest Service, the fire was burning in juniper and tall grass “which can quickly carry flames.” Five structures were threatened, with dozens more in nearby Manzano at risk. “Fire managers quickly engaged in a full suppression strategy,” the Forest Service said.

Initial resources included three Type 6 engines from the Mountainair Ranger District, one Type 2 helicopter from the Sandia Ranger District, one air attack, and one heavy air tanker, according to a press release.

The helicopter used bucket drops with water from Manzano Lake to slow the fire’s progression.

The cause of the fire is unknown, with its size estimated at 12.8 acres at containment.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at