JEMEZ SPRINGS, NM – The search continues in the canyons and mesas of New Mexico for missing firefighter Token Adams.
Adams, 41, an engine captain with the Forest Service and former Coarsegold resident and YHS graduate, was searching for a wildfire on his ATV on Friday, Aug. 30, when he failed to show up at a designated meeting spot with the rest of his crew. He has not been heard from since.
Bad weather conditions made search efforts difficult today as over 280 people searched a 30-square-mile area for the missing Jemez Ranger District firefighter.
“Right now we’re tying to keep optimistic,” said U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Karen Takai. “It is the fourth day, so it’s challenging. His personality and hard work are well respected, so there are a lot of heavy hearts right now, concerned with his well-being.”
Adams reportedly called his pregnant wife and fellow firefighters before disappearing, and there has been no signal from his cell phone or radio since about 1 p.m. last Friday.
“He has a lot of skill and lot of training in outdoor survival,” said Takai. “That’s what we’re hoping will get him through.”
As a former Hotshot firefighter and having trained as a Navy Seal, searchers expressed confidence that he could take care of himself, having food and water and other survival gear with him.
When we talked to Takai this afternoon, she was just getting into her vehicle after being pelted by a hail storm that was pummeling the area. The challenging weather conditions limited the amount of support from aircraft throughout much of the day, but the folks on the ground kept up the search, and plan to continue their mission, day and night.
Searchers say they have covered the easy territory, and will now start looking in the canyons and more rugged terrain. There are reportedly Forest Service and Search and Rescue personnel, Border Patrol and State Police, along with ATVs, horses, dogs and hopefully tomorrow, aircraft assisting in the search.
Those with boots on the ground are not giving up hope. “We will be out here until we find an answer to this situation,” says Takai.
Family of Token Adams have set up a Facebook page – Find Token Adams