ST LOUIS (LALATE) – The Wallow Fire of 2011 (fire map below) is now the second worse Arizona wildfire, ever. Pictures of the Wallow Fire today are no better than images from last week. But now officials are concerned the fire, which substantially advanced Tuesday, could surpass the Rodeo-Chedeski Fire and become the state’s worse fire ever.
Less than a decade ago, the Rodeo-Chedeski Fire burned 467,000 acres. On Friday, it seemed unlikely that the Wallow Fire could ever grow to that size. Even Sunday, the advance of the Wallow Fire had slowed due to improved weather conditions, slowing winds, and successful fire line moves. But on Tuesday, the Wallow Fire made one of its worse advances ever.
Since yesterday, the Wallow Fire has burned an additional seventy eight thousand acres, surpassing the Cave Creek Complex fire that had been the second worse wildfire since 2005. Fire officials have attempted to increase both manpower and equipment, now growing their effort to eight dozers, 141 engines, and forty-six watertenders. But with twenty helicopters aiding, the fire is still zero contained.
News updates indicate Tuesday that ten structures have been destroyed, one damaged, and close to four hundred threatened. The fire originating in the south and west of Alpine, Arizona how has twenty-seven hotshot crews and twenty-nine handcrew.
A news briefing is underway currently at this moment at Springerville High School. New pre-evacuation alerts were issued to news by the Apache County Sheriff’s Office today; they now cover Eager, Springerville and South Fork. As previously reported on LALATE, Catron County Sheriff’s Office have put Luna, New Mexico on a similar such alter.
Fire officials tell news that the hardest spots are the north and eastern flanks of the Wallow Fire. Additional news updates were released here. Fire officials say that efforts to stop the blaze will continue interrupted throughout the night. In a news statement, officials say they are “building fire line, perimeter control, structure protection, and patrolling for spot fires”.