Ariz. Wildfires Threatening New Mexico

Dry conditions fanning the flames
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2011 9:19 AM CDT
Ariz. Wildfires Threatening New Mexico
A firefighter walks away after setting a backburn on Highway 191 in an attempt to control a raging wildfire on June 10, 2011 in Nutrioso, Arizona.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Firefighters are desperately trying to keep the wildfires that are ripping through Arizona from spreading to New Mexico, as dry conditions and wind fan the flames. The Wallow fire, which has been burning since May 29, is still only 18% contained, and now covers more than 452,000 acres, the AP reports. Another fire near the Colorado border has doubled in size to 6,000 acres, and forced hundreds of people to evacuate. "We're watching trees explode before our eyes. It's horrendous," one resident said.

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The main blaze came within a mile of the New Mexico border town of Luna, but so far firefighters have been able to stave it off by clearing brush and setting controlled fires of their own to consume trees along the state line. "That's what saved the town," a fire spokesman said. "The line is holding. There's no fire in New Mexico that we haven't set ourselves." Still, the news isn't all bad: in two Arizona mountain towns, around 7,000 evacuees have gotten the OK to return home. (Read more Arizona stories.)

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