Sunday, June 05, 2011

Crews Work to Protect Communities from Arizona Wildfires

Smoke fills the sky casting an eerie orange glow over the town of Alpine as the Wallow Fire burns in the Bear Wallow Wilderness southwest of Alpine, Ariz.
TUCSON, Ariz. –  Crews on Saturday worked to protect several small Arizona communities from two large wildfires by clearing away brush near homes and setting fires aimed at robbing the blazes of their fuel. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called the Wallow Fire, near the White Mountain community of Alpine, "absolutely frightening." The fire grew to 218 square miles, or more than 140,000 acres, becoming the third largest in state history, with its smoke visible well into New Mexico and parts of southern Colorado. Fire officials said they had zero containment of the fire near the New Mexico-Arizona state line, which has forced an unknown number of people to evacuate. "It was unbelievable -- the expansion of the smoke," Brewer said after an aerial tour of the blaze and a briefing from fire team's commander in Springerville. Read More