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Monday, June 20, 2011

Huge AZ wildfire spreads, 330 square miles UPDATED: Arizona Fire Grows to 511,118 Acres, 54 percent Contained: Fire Smoke Map NEW LINK ADDED: Wallow Fire Update VIDEO ADDED



Wallow Fire Update
June 19, 2011 8:00 p.m.
Fire Facts:
Location: Apache, Navajo, Graham, and Greenlee
Injuries to Date: 12
Counties, White Mountain Apache Reservation, San Carlos Apache Reservation, Arizona;
Catron County, New Mexico
Total Personnel: 3,594
Includes 15 hotshot crews;
56 handcrews
Date Started: 05/29/2011
Cause: Human - under investigation
Residences: 2,714 threatened; 32 destroyed;
5 damaged
Size: 511,118 acres total
Commercial Property: 473 threatened; 4 destroyed
Percent Contained: 51%
Resources: 15 Helicopter; 5 Air Tankers available;
196 Engines; 72 Water Tenders; 21 Dozers
Outbuildings: 1,216 threatened; 36 destroyed;
1 damaged
Vehicles: 1 destroyed

Fire Update
Greer Evacuation being lifted Monday June 20, 2011
Apache County Sheriff's Office reports that Greer residents only can go to the Round Valley High School Dome at 11:00 A.M. Monday 6/20/11 to receive a pass to return to Greer. Evacuees must have valid identification verifying residency in order to enter.
On the east flank, wind driven fire spread to the northeast past Luna, N.M. Crews are working to keep it in check at FR 19. Air support began to work on objectives early this morning and were able to continue longer than anticipated before expected wind gusts arrived. The fire has crossed Trout Creek and is moving toward Bishop Canyon in N.M.
In the south, the fire is holding in the Steeple Creek area along the Blue River. In the southwest, firing and holding operations were instrumental in preventing the movement of the fire across Hwy 191. Fire is expected to back in a southerly direction toward indirect line where the fire is anticipated to be contained. Crews have completed construction of control lines on the south end of the fire between McBride Canyon and Highway 191. Burnout operations have begun north of this line and will continue as conditions allow.
Firefighters are continuing mop-up and fireline repair activities along the west and north flanks of the fire. Minimal fire activity was observed in the north today with only isolated single and group tree torching and short runs in interior islands.
Navopache Electric Cooperative crews are working on lines to restore consistent power to Alpine and Nutrioso. Currently, power is being provided by generators. Residents are urged to be conservative with their use of electricity. Please be advised that there will be intermittent power outages in Nutrioso and Alpine.
Today's Red Flag warning will continue tonight until 8 pm. Winds will diminish tonight. On Monday, winds will be west-northwest between 8-17 mph with gusts to 32 mph. Temperatures will be cooler, from 68-70, with relative humidity 8-15 percent.

Public Safety
Smoke from the ongoing wildfires in AZ. will continue to impact residents in the Wallow Fire area including southwestern N.M. For more information, link to the smoke outlook for 6/20-posted at http://ge.tt/8sjO9F5.
· A Crisis Intervention Line (928) 333-2683 is available for residents suffering from the stress of living with fire danger.
· An Individual Assistance Service Center (IASC) open daily 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Round Valley Public Library, 179 S Main, Eagar for all evacuated Arizonans to access information to assist in their personal recovery from the fire.
· For more safety information see: http://tinyurl.com/6zvcrck
· The National Weather Service on the potential of flooding: The Wallow Fire burned vast portions of the White Mountains including areas of steep terrain which will make numerous locations vulnerable to flash floods and debris flows even in moderate intensity (10 - 15 minutes) rains. Some area streams and rivers are likely to see flows beyond anything seen in decades if typical or above average rains occur. This summer, all residents near streams, rivers, or steep burned hillsides should be alert to flooding and debris flows. Residents should be aware that area roadways may become impassible due to mud, rock and debris slides or due to streams and washes overwhelming existing culverts and bridges.
· Apache County and local Fire Departments have begun identifying locations for staging of sandbags in anticipation of the monsoon season. More information will be provided as locations are confirmed.
Community Meetings Tomorrow Monday, June 20
· There will be a meeting Monday at 6:00 p.m. at the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council Chambers in Whiteriver, AZ. Members of the Southwest Area Incident Management Team will provide information on the current status of Zone 3 (west side) of the Wallow Fire. Included will be a Google Earth virtual tour of the fire area. 6 p.m. Monday, White Mountain Tribal Council Chambers, Whiteriver, AZ.
· 6 p.m. Monday, Round Valley High School hosted by the Apache/Sitgreaves National Forest.
Current Evacuations
· Luna, N.M. was evacuated as of 3:15 p.m. yesterday.
· Evacuations remain in effect in Sunrise, Greer and Blue River.
· The evacuation for Alpine was lifted yesterday, June 18 and residents were allowed to return to their homes.
Evacuee Information
· An evacuation center is open at the High School in Reserve, N.M. for Luna residents.
· 10 a.m. daily evacuee meetings will be held at the Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop/Lakeside, AZ.
· Arizona evacuees whose Post Office is closed may pick up their mail at the Eagar Post Office.
Pre-Evacuation Alert
  • A pre-evacuation alert continues in Apache County for Greens Peak, Hidden Meadows Lodge and surrounding areas.
Residents in these communities are asked to remain prepared for evacuation.
Road Closures according to Arizona Department of Transportation: http://www.azdot.gov/
  • Northbound US 180 is closed from the junction with N.M. 12 to the AZ. state line (mileposts 20-0). Southbound lanes are open for possible evacuations of Luna, N.M. Please use N.M. 12 or N.M. 32 as alternate routes. US 180 is closed from Glenwood south of Cat Walk Rd to Silver City, N.M. at N. Pope St. (mileposts 51 to 113).
  • US 180 is closed east of Alpine to the New Mexico state line (mileposts 430-433).
· US 191 is closed between Alpine and north of Clifton (milepost 176-253).
· SR 261 (mileposts 395-413) and SR 273 (mileposts 378-394), main roads to Big Lake & Crescent Lake are closed.
· SR 373 that connects the town of Greer with SR 260 west of Eagar is closed (mileposts 386-391).
· In southern AZ., SR 366 is closed at milepost 118 leading up to Mount Graham (milepost 143) near Safford.
Closures and Restrictions
  • Apache - Sitgreaves National Forest: The Apache side of the Forest is closed to all public entry. A closure order is in effect for portions of the Sitgreaves side of the National Forest. Contact the Arizona fire restrictions hotline for information at
(877) 864-6985 or www.publiclands.org/firenews/AZ.php.
  • Gila National Forest: A closure is in effect for the western portion of the Gila National Forest. Call (575) 388-8201,
TTY (575) 388-8497 or see http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila.
  • White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation: Partial area closures are in effect for the eastside of the Fort Apache Reservation. See http://www.wmat.nsn.us/.
Jun 20, 2011

Winds challenge crews battling AZ, NM wildfires

PHOENIX (AP) -- Thousands more people evacuated their homes in southern Arizona Sunday as crews battling a wildfire faced extremely high winds that drove flames across roads and containment lines and toward populated areas.
The Monument fire was one of several raging in the Arizona and New Mexico where forecasters say fire crews would likely have little relief from the hot, windy weather that has dogged them for days.
About 3,000 people from 1,700 homes were evacuated south of the city of Sierra Vista where the blaze has been burning for a week but picked up speed Sunday as winds gusted up to 60 mph, Cochise County sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas said late Sunday night.
The flames raced down a mountain and into a heavily populated area, forcing crews to abandon their lines and set up in new spots.
"Winds pushed fire across Highway 92, making run so fast and so hot that the danger to citizens in the path was significant," she told The Associated Press. "The fire crews are doing an amazing job, trying to get in front of it."
Sunday's evacuations brought the total number to about 10,000 people from 4,300 homes forced to flee the flames, she said.
Some residences were destroyed Sunday, adding to the 44 already reported, but fire officials still don't have an exact number, Capas said. There have been no serious injuries.
Winds had diminished by late Sunday and were projected to reach just 10 mph Monday.
"It that prediction holds, it will be a big benefit for firefighters," she said.
Before the winds spread the flames earlier in the day, the blaze was reported 27 percent contained at about 21,000 acres or nearly 33 square miles.
Meanwhile, the massive Wallow fire that has been burning in eastern Arizona for three weeks kept about 200 residents of Luna, N.M., under an evacuation order for a second day.
A containment line that had held through days of high winds was breached Saturday and the fire raced toward town before shifting winds steered it around the community. It was moving to the north into an area of scattered ranches late Sunday afternoon, fire information officer Michael Puentes said.
Despite the evacuation order for Luna, about half the town's residents remained in town. They have been told to stay off the roads so they don't get in the way of fire crews, Catron County Undersheriff Ian Fletcher said. Few people went to a Red Cross shelter set up in Reserve, N.M.
"If the fire comes back around or things change where they have to get out, we still have an egress point, so we will still escort them out of town," Fletcher said. "We're expecting high winds this afternoon - we're preparing for the worst and hoping for the best."
The Wallow fire, which is burning up much of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, is the largest of several wildfires burning in spots across the southwestern United States.
Evacuation orders for Luna came on the same day that some other residents displaced by the fire that began May 29 were allowed to return home.
The Wallow blaze has consumed nearly 800 square miles, a little more than 511,000 acres, and more than 3,500 firefighters were trying to stop its advance. It is larger than a 2002 fire that burned 732 square miles and destroyed 491 buildings that had been the largest in state history. Despite its size, the latest fire has destroyed just 32 homes and four rental cabins. Containment rose to 44 percent Sunday.
Residents of Alpine, Ariz., were allowed to return to their homes Saturday morning after being forced out for more than two weeks, while residents of the resort town of Greer will be allowed to return home late Monday morning.
A new wildfire ignited Sunday in northcentral Arizona that officials said could threaten powerlines running to Phoenix as well as some scattered ranches in coming days.
Eric Nietel, spokesman for the Show Low fire department, said late Sunday night that the blaze, about 40 miles northeast of Payson, had burned about 500 acres.
A fire burning on both sides of the New Mexico-Colorado border outside of Raton, N.M. was 80 percent contained and evacuations had all been lifted. Fire officials said existing fire lines were holding despite strong winds in the area. The fire apparently was started June 12 by engine exhaust from an all-terrain vehicle trespassing on railroad property.
Another wildfire in Cochise County, Ariz., called Horseshoe Two was 75 percent contained after charring about 210,000 acres - nearly 330 square miles. It has destroyed 23 structures since it started May 8.
A fire burning 9 miles north of Santa Fe, N.M., had burned about 900 acres by Sunday morning and was being driven northeast into the Pecos Wilderness, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Alberta Maez said. The fire broke out Saturday and was not threatening any structures, but hikers and residents In the Santa Fe Ski Basin, Aspen Basin, Aspen Vista, and Big Tesuque were told to be ready to leave is necessary.
And in East Texas, firefighters Sunday were trying to contain a 23-square-mile blaze that had destroyed two unoccupied homes and at least four trailers. The fire, about 100 miles north of Houston, was about 40 percent contained and no evacuations were ordered, Texas Forest Service spokesman Richard Reuse said.
The fire started after a person hauling a trailer pulled off the road with a hot wheel bearing, which ignited dry grass nearby, Texas Forest Service spokesman Ralph Cullom said.
All of the Arizona wildfires are believed to be human caused. Investigators believe a campfire was the most likely cause of the Wallow fire.
Authorities in southern New Mexico were also looking for "persons of interest" as they searched for the cause of a fire that burned several homes in the wooded community of Ruidoso.

Jun 11,2011

Huge AZ wildfire spreads, health conditions worsen

SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. (AP) -- An eye-stinging haze of smoke spewing from a gigantic wildfire in eastern Arizona added a potentially serious public health threat to the conflagration on Saturday as firefighters moved to counter spot fires erupting across the state line in New Mexico.
The 640-square-mile blaze (430,171 acres total) remained largely uncontained and firefighters worried that a predicted return of gusty southwesterly winds in the afternoon would cause it to grow even larger.
"We expect the winds to be testing a lot of our lines out there," fire spokeswoman Karen Takai said.
The fire began spotting across the state line Friday night and 150 additional firefighters and several fire engines were sent to bolster forces already waiting in New Mexico, officials said.
Concern about hazardous levels of air pollution spread beyond northeastern Arizona.
Winds were expected to carry the plume across western and central New Mexico to the Albuquerque and Santa Fe metropolitan areas, the National Weather Service said. Dense smoke was predicted in a half-dozen small communities.
"The amount of particulate matter, smoke in the air, is a big issue," Takai said.
Concern was greatest for the elderly, young children and people with respiratory illnesses.
"Go visit your doctors, see what they say you should do," Takai advised the public.
Guarding the mountain town of Greer, firefighter Matt Howell, 28, described the difficulty of working in such conditions.
"You get in there and it's hard to breathe," he said. "You start coughing, can't get that good nice breath of air."
More than 30 homes have been destroyed since the fire began, thousands of residents have fled communities and the blaze posed a potential danger to two major power lines that bring electricity from Arizona to West Texas.
Lighter winds Thursday and Friday helped the 4,400 firefighters make progress, but critical fire conditions remain.
Fire crews plan to try to strengthen what lines they've been able to establish and continue burning out forested areas in front of the main fire to try to stop its advance. Containment was estimated at just 6 percent, on the northeastern edge.
The advances came on the fire's north side, near the working-class towns of Springerville and Eagar on the edge of the forest. Nearly 10,000 people have been evacuated from the two towns and from several mountain communities in the forest.
On Friday, fire officials gave reporters the first look at two of the mountain communities - Alpine and Nutrioso - in nearly two weeks, driving them through the deserted resort towns and surrounding areas.
Some stands of trees in the forest were untouched while others looked like blackened matchsticks sticking up through lingering smoke. Firefighters were working in the area, using drip torches to light fires and burn out undergrowth.
Deer and elk grazed in unscorched areas, while wild turkeys walked through tall grass along the road. Two miles south of Alpine, whole hillsides of ponderosa were decimated.
The two Arizona-Texas power lines were still in the fire's path. El Paso Electric has warned its 372,000 customers that they may see rolling blackouts if the lines are cut.
The fire is the second-largest in state history and could eclipse the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire in size, although only a fraction of the homes have burned.
The Chediski began as a signal fire and merged with the Rodeo, which was intentionally set by a firefighter who needed work. Together they burned 732 square miles (1,895 sq. kilometers) and destroyed 491 buildings.
The current Wallow Fire in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest has destroyed 31 homes or cabins, including 22 in the picturesque mountain community of Greer, fire spokesman Jim Whittington said. Two dozen outbuildings and a truck also were lost and five homes damaged in Greer when the fire moved in Wednesday night.
Firefighters are battling another major wildfire in far southeastern Arizona, also near the New Mexico line. The so-called Horseshoe Two blaze burned through 211 square miles or 135,000 acres of brush and timber since it started in early May. The fire has destroyed 23 structures but caused no serious injuries. It was 45 percent contained late Friday and fire officials hope to have it fully contained by late June.


 Apache-Sitgreaves National June 7, 2011
Photo taken by Ron Sander.
 US Forest Service, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest



Wallow Fire Update, June 10,

Date Started: 5/29/2011
Number of Personnel: Approximately 3,137
Location: south and west of Alpine, Arizona
Including 19 hotshot crews and 45 hand crews
Cause: Human - under investigation
Equipment: 17 dozers, 221 engines, 66 watertenders
Size: 408,887ac based on last night's infrared data
Aircraft: 14 helicopters
Percent Contained: 5%
Injuries to Date: 3
Residences: 5,242 threatened; 29 destroyed 5 damaged
Structures: 24 destroyed
Other: 1 truck destroyed
Area Command Team 3 lead by Jim Loach is now managing the Wallow Fire

The Wallow Fire Structure Assessment Team has completed its work in Greer. The team reports that 22 homes were destroyed, 5 homes damaged and 24 outbuildings and 1 truck destroyed. The Apache County Sheriff is still in the process of tracking and notifying the property owners who were affected.
·� Media should call 480-331-9554 to coordinate interviews.
·� The Blue Ridge evacuation center phone number is 602-336-6660
·� There will be a media briefing tonight at 9:00 p.m. at the Rest Stop on Hwy 60, north of Springerville.
·� There will be a community meeting tonight at 6:00 p.m. at the Blue Ridge High School Auditorium at Pinetop-Lakeside.
Fire Update
The fire is 5% contained on the northeast side of the fire. Last night's operational period included burnout operations, structure protection, patrolling for spot fires, and mop up in the Alpine area. The predicted weather today is expected to allow firefighters to continue burnout operations. Today's operational period also includes, building fireline using handcrews & dozers around Springerville and Eagar, structure protection, patrolling for spot fires and mop up. The DC-10 air tanker was used during yesterday's operations in the area of Greer.
Multiple jurisdictions of Law Enforcement are working with the incident to ensure public and firefighter safety, as well, as protection of property during evacuations.

Current Evacuations
· Full evacuation of Eager and Springerville. The evacuations were ordered by the Apache County Sheriff's Office on June 8 around 4:00 p.m.
· Sunrise, Greer, Blue River, Alpine, Nutrioso, and the following subdivisions along highways 180/191: Escudilla Mountain Estates, Bonita, White Mtn. Acres, and the H-V Ranch. This area includes County Road (CR) 4000, CR 4001, and CR 4225.
· The evacuation center is located at Blue Ridge High School, 1200 W. White Mtn. Blvd., Pinetop/Lakeside.

Pre-Evacuation Alert
  • A pre-evacuation alert has been issued by Apache County for Greens Peak, Hidden Meadows Lodge and the surrounding areas.
· A pre-evacuation alert has been issued by Catron County Sheriff's Office for Luna, New Mexico.
  • Residents in the communities affected by this fire are asked to remain prepared in the event an order is needed.
Residents with livestock or animals that need care should contact the Apache County Sheriff's Office (928) 337-4321 or the Greenlee County Sheriff's Office (928) 865-4149.

Road Closures according to Arizona Department of Transportation: http://www.azdot.gov
· State Route 373, a 4.5 mile-long highway that connects the town of Greer in eastern Arizona with SR 260 west of Eagar, is closed.
· US 191 is closed between Alpine and north of Clifton (mileposts 176-253).
· State Routes 261 and 273, the main access roads to Big Lake and Crescent Lake in the White Mountains, are closed. SR 261 is closed starting approximately seven miles south of SR 260 to Crescent Lake (mileposts 395-413) and SR 273 is closed between the SR 260 junction and to the SR 261 junction (mileposts 378-394).
· US 180 is closed between the SR 260 junction near Eagar and the New Mexico state line (mileposts 403-433).

Due to extreme fire conditions, the Apache National Forest is closed to all public entry. See website for closure order details. Please see the Forest website for more information: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/.

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Fire Restrictions: A temporary emergency closure order
was issued effective June 3 at 12:00 p.m. (noon). For more information, please call the Arizona fire restrictions hotline 1-877-864-6985 or visit http://www.publiclands.org/firenews/AZ.php.
Public Information
Public information will continue to be available by Twitter, Flicker, http://www.inciweb.org/, regular email updates as well as by phone at (928) 333-3412, (702) 308-3238, (702) 308-3357, or 702) 308-8227. Information will also be available at the evacuation center located at Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop/Lake Side. A community meeting was held at the Blue Ridge High School and was recorded by City 4 TV. Interested parties can view the recording at http://www.showlowtv.com/.


Arizona Wallow Fire Smoke Map June 7, 2007

Wallow Fire Update, June 7, 8am

Incident: Wallow Wildfire


Date Started: 5/29/2011
Number of Personnel: Approximately 2,140
Location: south and west of Alpine, Arizona
Including 27 hotshot crews and 29 handcrews
Cause: Human - under investigation
Equipment: 8 dozers, 141 engines, 46 watertenders
Size: 311,481 acres
Aircraft: 20 helicopters
Percent Contained: 0%
Injuries to Date: none
Structures: 343 threatened; 1 damaged; 10 lost

A community meeting is being held at the Springerville High School Auditorium, Tuesday, June 7 at 6:00p.m.

Current Evacuations
· Sunrise, Greer, Blue River, Alpine, Nutrioso, and the following subdivisions along highways 180/191: Escudilla Mountain Estates, Bonita, White Mtn. Acres, and the H-V Ranch. This area includes CR 4000, CR 4001, and CR 4225
Pre-Evacuation Alert
  • Pre-evacuation alert issued by Apache County Sheriff's Office for Eager, Springerville and South Fork.
· Pre-evacuation alert issued by Catron County Sheriff's Office has issued for Luna, New Mexico.
  • Residents in the communities affected by this fire are asked to remain prepared in the event an order is needed.
Residents with livestock or animals that need care, please contact the Apache County Sheriff's Office (928) 337-4321or the Greenlee County Sheriff's Office (928) 865-4149

Fire Update
Yesterday we experienced extreme fire behavior due to the forecast high winds and low humidity; similar weather conditions are expected today. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the area. The fire has become established on the east side of Highway 191, just north of the Alpine Divide, and is moving toward the Escudilla Wilderness. Today we expect another active fire day, especially on the north and east flanks of the fire. Firefighters are continuing to work around the clock, day and night shifts. Spot fires are occurring up to 3 miles ahead of the fire. Firefighter activities include: building fire line, perimeter control, structure protection, and patrolling for spot fires.
Due to extreme fire conditions, the Apache National Forest is closed to all public entry. See website for closure order details. Please see the Forest website for more information: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Fire Restrictions: A Temporary Emergency Closure Order for the Apache National Forest was issued effective June 3 at 12:00 p.m. (noon). For more information, please call the Arizona fire restrictions hotline 1-877-864-6985 or visit http://www.wildlandfire.az.gov/.

Third town evacuated as fire rages for ninth day

 June 07, 2011

A wildfire that has charred more than 350 square miles (906 sq km) in eastern Arizona has forced the evacuation of a third town and crept near populated areas along the New Mexico border as it raged out of control for a ninth day.
Dogged by fierce winds and low humidity, some 2,300 fire-fighters battled flames in and around the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest that sent smoke billowing across several states, as far east as Iowa.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer declared a state of emergency in two counties - Apache and Greenlee - in the rugged White Mountains region.
Fire information spokesman Deryl Jevons said gale-force wind gusts were making conditions especially difficult.
"That's going to create some significant fire activity," Jevons told Reuters.
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.
So far containment of the blaze remained at zero, but fire officials were hoping to make some gains in the next few days, said Matt Benson, a spokesman for the governor, after she was briefed on the situation.
"It's entirely dependent on weather conditions in that part of the state right now," he said.
Casting an orange glow in the sky that could be seen for miles, the blaze has blackened nearly 234,000 acres, or 364 square miles (943 sq km), of forest land since erupting on May 29, according to state fire authorities.
The most recent town to be evacuated by authorities is Greer, Arizona, a popular summer retreat in the region that is home to about 200 permanent residents, said Sergeant Richard Guinn, a spokesman for the Apache County Sheriff's Office.
"The fire has continued to progress to a trigger point, so deputies are evacuating Greer as we speak," he told Reuters.
Several hundred residents of the nearby towns of Alpine and Nutrioso were ordered from their homes late last week, with no estimate given for when they would be permitted to return. Four smaller housing developments were evacuated.

Residents in the town of Luna, just over the New Mexico line, were told to stand by for possible evacuation orders should the blaze get too close, authorities said.
Meanwhile, nearly 1,000 fire-fighters continued to make gains against a separate large wildfire burning in the south-eastern part of the state.
Officials said the Horseshoe 2 Fire had consumed more than 100,000 acres (40,470 hectares) and prompted the evacuation of two small communities there. That fire was listed as 55 percent contained.


Seen from space (nasa)June 5, 2001

UPDATED 3 PM Local AZ time June 5, 2011


Wallow Fire Update, June 5, 11:30 PM AZ TIME

Date Started: 5/29/2011
Number of Personnel: Approximately 2,315 personnel
Location: south and west of Alpine, Arizona
Including 31 hotshot crews and 25 handcrews
Cause: Human - under investigation
Equipment: 12 dozers, 138 engines, 31 watertenders
Size: 192,746
Aircraft: 22 helicopters
Percent Contained: 0%
Injuries to Date: none

Community Meeting
· A community meeting will be held at the Springerville High School Auditorium, Mon. Jun. 6 at 6pm.

Current Evacuations
· The evacuation of Blue River residents by Greenlee County officials remains in effect.
· Residents in the communities affected by this fire are asked to remain prepared in the event an order is needed.
  • The evacuation order for the communities of Alpine and Nutrioso by Apache County Emergency Management remain in effect.
  • Evacuations today by the Apache County Sheriff's Office included the following subdivisions along Hwys 180/191: Escudilla Mountain Estates, Bonita, White Mtn. Acres, and the H-V Ranch. This area includes CR 4000, CR 4001, and CR 4225.
Pre-Evacuation Advisories
· The pre-evacuation notice by the Apache County Sheriff's Office to the residents of Greer community and the surrounding areas remains in effect.
· Catron County Sheriff's Office has issued a pre-evacuation notice to the residents of Luna, New Mexico.

Fire Update
· Firefighters continue perimeter control in conjunction with San Carlos and Ft. Apache Indian reservations and continue point protection around values at risk.
· Storm and wind activity caused embers to spot over the U.S. Hwy. 191 resulting in a flurry of fire activity around Alpine and Nutrioso to include Escudilla Mountain .
· Structural protection and perimeter control continue in the evacuated communities.
· A red flag warning is in effect, 10 am - 8 pm with low humidity.
Due to extreme fire conditions, the Apache National Forest is closed to all public entry. Property owners and their guests will continue to have access to private lands within the Forest. See website for closure order details. Please see the Forest website for more information: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Fire Restrictions: A Temporary Emergency Closure Order for the Apache National Forest was issued effective June 3 at 12:00 p.m. (noon). For more information, please call the Arizona fire restrictions hotline 1-877-864-6985 or visit http://www.wildlandfire.az.gov/.
MEDIA ADVISORY: Media should call 480-331-9554 to coordinate interviews or visit the Lead Media Public Information Officer outside the Joint Information Center at 940 E. Maricopa St. in Springerville.
VIDEO: Arizona Wildfire Wallow OUT OF CONTROL Grows 40 Percent June 5 2011 SMOKES OUT Albuquerque NM 220 Miles Away


 June 5, 2011 (2pm AZ Local time)
The Apache County Sheriff's Office has ordered the immediate evacuation of the following subdivisions along Hwy 180/191: Escudilla Mountain Estates, Bonita, Dog Patch, and the H-V Ranch. This area includes CR 4000, CR 4001 & CR 4225. This area is east of Hwy 180 and near the NM state line

Jun 5, 4:57 PM EDT

'Horrific' Ariz. fire blankets towns in smoky fog
REER, Ariz. (AP) -- A 225-square-mile blaze that has grown into the third-largest fire in Arizona's history covered a mountain vacation town in a smoky fog Sunday, as wind blew smoke from the burning pine forest well into nearby New Mexico and Colorado.
Crews have not contained the fire near the New Mexico-Arizona state line, which has forced residents to evacuate from several mountain towns.
In the vacation town of Greer, which has fewer than 200 year-round residents, many voluntarily left on Saturday. Those who remained, mostly business owners, dealt with haze heavily tinged with smoke on Sunday. Among them was the owner of the 101-year-old Molly Butler Lodge, who was hauling out his most valuable items.
Allan Johnson spent the morning getting antiques, including an 1886 table brought by covered wagon from Utah and a 1928 Oldsmobile the lodge uses for weddings, out of the fire's path. He said he was not taking reservations but was keeping open the restaurant, mainly as a meeting place.
Greer is within miles of the fire, which officials expect will grow given a windy forecast and expected dry lightning Sunday and Monday. If the blaze comes within two miles of a containment line nearby, the town will be evacuated.
"We're all waiting for the word," Johnson said. "It could be 24 hours, could be eight hours. It might not happen at all - that's what we're all rooting and praying for."
Winds died down overnight, allowing crews to burn 30 miles of containment lines between active and unburned areas that create a buffer from the most violent wind-driven runs.
"It gives a much greater chance of it having diminished fire behavior as it approaches the lines," fire information officer Peter Frenzen told The Associated Press. "And that's the concern, that you might get intense fire activity that might throw embers over the line and spot beyond our control lines."
On Saturday, Gov. Jan Brewer called the blaze "horrific" following an aerial tour and said it was "the likes of a fire of which I have never experienced from the air."
In Nutrioso, the blaze came within two miles of homes, and heavy yellowish smoke in Alpine reduced visibility to about a quarter mile. Smoke drifted into northwestern New Mexico towns such as Fence Lake and Zuni Pueblo, said National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Fetting, and was expected as far north as Gallup. The haze also could reach as far as Albuquerque by Monday.
Spokesman Brad Pitassi said 1,300 firefighters were at the blaze, including some "from Oregon all the way to New York."
Since the blaze started May 29, four summer rental cabins have been destroyed, the U.S. Forest Service said. No serious injuries have been reported.
The fire is the state's third-largest, behind a 2002 blaze that blackened more than 732 square miles and one in 2005 that burned about 387 square miles in the Phoenix suburb of Cave Creek.
The state also was contending with another major wildfire, its fifth-largest, in far southeastern Arizona that threatened a church camp and two communities. Air crews dumped water and retardant near the Methodist church camp Saturday as the 156-square-mile blaze burned around the evacuated camp in the steep Pine Canyon near the community of Paradise.
Paradise, as well as East Whitetail Canyon, was evacuated in advance and the nearby Chiricahua National Monument was closed as a precaution. Crews set backfires and kept the blaze from about a dozen occupied homes and other vacation residences Saturday.
"Paradise, even though they did protect it from the initial fire that passed by the day before yesterday, it's still not totally out of the woods," said Dave Killebrew, an information officer for the team battling the blaze.


Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona is 3rd largest in state's history

June 5, 2011

ALPINE, AZ - A wildfire in eastern Arizona near the town of Alpine has grown to 144,100 acres, fire officials said Sunday morning.
There are now approximately 1,300 personnel on scene.
Crews were working to protect homes in Alpine and nearby Nutrioso from the fire and blowing embers that could start smaller, spot fires. The fire had reached Alpine's outskirts and was about two miles away from homes in Nutrioso, said Bob Dyson, a spokesman for the team fighting the blaze.
Governor Jan Brewer traveled to Springerville Saturday afternoon to meet with fire officials. She also took an aerial tour of the fire scene to get an appreciation for its scope and size, said Matthew Benson, a spokesman for Brewer.
"It was horrific and the likes of a fire I've never experienced from the air before. It's quite humbling," Brewer said.
Current evacuations include the residents of Blue River, ordered by Greenlee County officials, adding the Greer community has also received a pre-evacuation notice.
Other areas that have been evacuated include Alpine, Nutrioso, Hannagan Meadow Lodge, Sprucedale Guest Ranch, Brentwood Church Camp, Hannagan campground, KP campground, West Fork Black River campground, and East Fork Black River campground, according to the Incident website.
Officials said the fire has cost $3 million to fight so far.
The fire remained zero-percent contained as of Sunday morning, officials said.
The Apache National Forest has been temporarily closed due to extreme fire conditions.
Friday, officials said a Verizon tower and radio repeater were damaged, along with a utility trailer and outbuilding in Alpine.
The U.S. Forest Service said Friday that four summer rental cabins burned in the Wallow wildfire, which was consuming dead and dry trees and brush in the White Mountains near the New Mexico border.
Smoke from the fire that started nearly a week ago is being carried all the way to Albuquerque, New Mexico, some 200 miles away.
The yellowish smoke in Alpine was so heavy that it reduced visibility to about a quarter mile.
The U.S. Forest Service says the Wallow Fire is the third largest wildfire in state history.
The biggest, the Rodeo-Chediski, burned 469,000 acres in 2002 and the Cave Creek complex fire burned 248,000 acres in 2005.
The Wallow fire just surpassed the Willow fire, which burned 120,000 acres in 2004.

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