Wallow Fire 10% Contained; Damage Reaches 430,000 Acres
Arizona’s Wallow timber and grass wildfire continues to defy the prodigious efforts of over 4,000 firefighters to bring the blaze under control, examiner.com reported.
Sunday (June 12), the Los Burros and Lewis Canyon campgrounds in the Lakeside Ranger District of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest were closed due to the dry fuel conditions and extreme fire danger whilst today winds out of the southwest have brought new red flag – and air quality – warnings to Arizona’s White Mountain region. This has increased worries that the fire control lines cut by dozers and firefighters may yet be overwhelmed by a conflagration that has burned for two weeks and remains only 6% contained (later reports have raised this figure to 10% contained).
Inciweb – which has been overloaded by a massive increase in web traffic – reported that burnout and holding operations continue along Highway 273 near Greer and northeast of Alpine and have also been conducted around Tal Wi Wi Lodge north of Alpine and along Forest Road 220 toward Luna, New Mexico.
The Wallow Fire’s spread into New Mexico is due solely to burnout operations and was not due to the fire jumping control lines as was reported by some media outlets. Burnout operations were completed on the southern edge of the Black River. Structural protection and line construction improvements are underway around Sunrise Resort.
The Wallow wildfire which broke out on May 29 at approximately 01:30 p.m. in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in eastern Arizona has now consumed 430,175 acres. According to the latest USDA Forest Service report, over 4,311 personnel including 334 engines, 61 water tenders, and 18 dozers along with numerous rotary and fixed wing air attack aircraft are currently deployed. Only six injuries have been reported to-date. Whilst the origin of the fire has been categorized as “human” the investigation remains ongoing.