A lightning sparked fire in the Pecos Wilderness reported early Monday  afternoon (June 10) quickly grew to several hundred acres and chased out a handful of firefighters who had rappelled in to start battling the blaze.

Air tankers and helicopters are fighting the Jaroso Fire, burning southeast of Borrego Mesa in a three-mile wide patch of dead and down trees knocked over by wind several years ago, according to Dolores Maese, fire information officer with the Santa Fe National Forest. The fire is near the Jaroso trail.

The fire is deep in the wilderness and is not threatening any structures, Maese said. But the fire is expected to continue its explosive growth, fueled by plenty of bone dry timber on the ground. Wind is expected out of the southwest, which will continue to push the fire deep into the wilderness.

The wilderness is remote and rugged with almost no roads or trails.

The Pecos Wilderness in both the Santa Fe National Forest and the Carson National Forest has been closed to the public since last week due to fire danger.

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