Springerville Arizona

June 10, 2011 by USA Post 

Springerville ArizonaSpringerville Arizona, Rangers in eastern Arizona intensified the attack against a massive fire that has displaced some 10,000 people; making better weather conditions on Thursday to start finally slow the fire.

The coldest temperatures, increasing humidity and decreasing winds helped firefighters cut a perimeter around 5 percent of the fire that has burned nearly 387 000 hectares, or over 600 square miles around the National Forest Apache Sitgreaves in the last 12 days.

“We are very excited about 5 percent, for sure, but have a long way to go,” the spokesman said U.S. Forest Service Suzanne Flory Reuters on Thursday night. She said that favorable weather is forecast again for Thursday.

However, Wallow fire, believed to have started from a campfire left unattended, posing a new threat to power lines supplying electricity to Tucson, Arizona, about 200 miles southwest, El Paso, Texas, about 200 kilometers to the southeast.

In the most serious property losses yet reported in the blaze, which ranks as second largest in Arizona history, the Forest Service said 22 homes were destroyed and five others injured on Wednesday in the city of Greer, a shelter mountain of about 200 homes.

Authorities initially said that only six houses were lost in Greer, evacuated earlier in the week. In other parts of the fire zone, about 250 miles east of Phoenix, the fire has claimed 11 structures, at least four of these residences. So far, no serious injuries have been reported.

Firefighters have so far kept the flames from encroaching into two main cities of Eager and Springerville more ordered complete evacuation Wednesday. Fire maps showed leading edge of the fire within a mile of Anxious and about five miles from Springerville.


The two cities are home to approximately 8,000 permanent residents combined, which represent the majority of the displaced in the White Mountains region, a popular holiday destination for Arizonans looking to escape the summer heat.

Flory said it is estimated that 1,900 people had been forced from their homes by the time and eager to Springerville were evacuated.

One of them, Ruben Irigoyen, 40, a restaurant worker Anxious, said he and his family fled on Monday night, well before the mandatory evacuation was ordered, as the thick, dark smoke envelops the city and Flames crept ominously close.

“It was really scary, it seemed so close,” recalled Irigoyen.

He, his wife and three children are among hundreds of families took refuge in an emergency shelter the American Red Cross established a school in Pinetop-Lakeside, east of the fire zone.

Anxious another refugee, Ross Ashcroft, 77, told the wonder and the fear he felt when he saw a wall of smoke roll into the city on Tuesday, “like the tsunami, which comes on the crest of a wave. And it was jet black. ”

The mass of humanity out of blankets and cots around the gym floor also included two pregnant women, one more than eight months pregnant. But shelter director Anne Krist Watkins said he was not sure yet what about the woman might be to go to work.


The governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer said in a statement that he had spoken about the threat of fire on Thursday with President Barack Obama, who said “committed to providing all federal support, as necessary to protect life, physical integrity and property. ”

A handful of mountain villages to the west of the eastern border of Arizona and New Mexico have remained empty since residents were forced out last week.

The eastern flank of the fire burning a short distance across the line of New Mexico on Thursday night, Flory said, and several small towns in the state have been put on alert for possible evacuations.

Work continued on a fire swept break stretches over 10 miles in New Mexico, and Governor Susan Martinez ordered the National Guard Reserve to the city to assist in the preparations for the bonfire.

The fire department was increased to over 3,000 members on Thursday, up from about 2,000 earlier.

Strong winds quickly spread the fire for several days also decreased enough to allow on Thursday, 14 water-dropping helicopters to continue their aerial assault against the fire monster, first joined by a DC-10 freighter carrying a load of fire retardant, Flory said.

Ground staff worked all day with bulldozers to cut the buffer zones between the edge of the fire and populated areas and began to firewalls designed to draw flames away from homes.

Their work eased somewhat as the fire began burning thick stands, ponderosa pine dry tinder in areas with fewer trees.

The latest infrared aerial images showed that fires had not grown in size over the last 24 hours, but seemed a little smaller than expected fire managers said Wednesday.

Adding a new dimension to the fire was a warning of two utilities, Tucson Electric and El Paso Electric, which might have to impose rolling blackouts if the fire blows out two major transmission lines that run through the fire zone.

The largest wildfire in state history, the Rodeo-Chediski fire in eastern Arizona, blackened nearly 469,000 acres in 2002 before it was extinguished.

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