Massive Arizona fire grows, remains out of control

June 6, 2011 19:34


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PHOENIX - A massive fire burning in eastern Arizona continued to burn out of control on Monday, charring nearly 193,000 acres (78,000 hectares) of bone-dry forest land with no end in sight, fire officials said.

Facing high winds and low humidity, an army of more than 2,300 firefighters battled a raging blaze that has forced the evacuation of two small mountain communities and four other area subdivisions, officials said.

Weather conditions were expected to hamper firefighting efforts, with wind gusts that could reach up to 45 miles per hour (72 kph).

"We haven't turned the corner yet," said Eric Neitzel, a fire information official.

The so-called Wallow Fire, about 250 miles (400 km) northeast of Phoenix near the Arizona-New Mexico border, is the third-largest fire on record in Arizona.

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