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Arizona's Wallow Fire Has 'Erratic' Behavior; Over 230,000 Acres Burned

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  • fire
    (Photo: Reuters / Joshua Lott)
    A view of the Wallow Wildfire is pictured in the distance seen along the U.S. Route 180 as smoke fills the sky in Luna, New Mexico June 6, 2011. A wildfire that has charred more than 350 square miles (906 sq km) in eastern Arizona forced the evacuation of a third town on Monday and crept near populated areas along the New Mexico border as it raged out of control for a ninth day. The so-called Wallow Fire, burning about 250 miles (400 km) northeast of Phoenix and stretching to near the Arizona-New Mexico border, ranks as the third-largest fire on record in Arizona.
  • fire
    (Photo: Reuters / Joshua Lott)
    Firefighters wait to receive orders while they take a break from the Wallow Wildfire as smoke fills the sky in Luna, New Mexico June 6, 2011. The wildfire that has charred more than 350 square miles (906 sq km) in eastern Arizona forced the evacuation of a third town on Monday and crept near populated areas along the New Mexico border as it raged out of control for a ninth day. The so-called Wallow Fire, burning about 250 miles (400 km) northeast of Phoenix and stretching to near the Arizona-New Mexico border, ranks as the third-largest fire on record in Arizona.
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By Ethan Cole, Christian Post Reporter
June 7, 2011|12:43 pm

Arizona’s Wallow Fire, the third largest wildfire in the state's history, is still uncontained as of Tuesday. In less than two weeks, the fire had burned over 230,000 acres of land in eastern Arizona.

Fanned by high heat and strong winds, the Wallow Fire has thwarted efforts by firefighters to contain it. It is still 0 percent contained as of late Monday evening.

“We had a hard day today,” said Joe Reinarz, an incident commander during a town hall meeting in the small town of Greer on Monday, according to CNN. “I don’t know exactly where that fire is at this moment, because it is moving so fast.”

Winds up to 35 mph are predicted for Tuesday in the area where the wildfires are raging. Besides the Wallow Fire, there are two other smaller wildfires in Arizona. The Horseshow Two fire and the Murphy fire, which has burned over 50,000 acres since it began on May 30.

The Wallow Fire started as a small fire on May 29, fueled by dry bush and strong winds. The Apache County sheriff’s department is investigating what started the fire. But fire officials suspect that an unattended campfire may be behind the raging blaze, according to The Arizona Republic.

On Wednesday night the Wallow Fire began its growth spurt, from 6,000 to over 40,000 acres. And by Sunday it expanded to 144,000 acres of land. The latest figure is the Wallow Fire has scorched 233,552 acres.

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More than 2,500 people are working to contain the raging wildfire that has burned down four buildings and threatens another 348 structures.

Firefighter Stephen Miller told ABC15 that combating the Wallow Fire was “very difficult with the erratic fire behavior.”

So far, no injuries have been reported.

 

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