Ariz. Fire Threatens Power Supply to 3 States

Saturday, June 11, 2011
By Paul Martin

Crews protect resort town from Ariz. wildfires

Firefighters ‘able to protect the main part of town, but structures were lost’

SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. — A massive wildfire that has displaced as many as 11,000 people in eastern Arizona held steady in size on Thursday, and fire officials said they hoped weaker winds and cooler temperatures would help in their fight.
But the Wallow Fire, which has charred at least 336,000 acres of thick, tinder-dry pine forest since erupting May 29, posed a new threat to power lines supplying electricity to Tucson, Arizona, some 200 miles to the southwest, and to El Paso, Texas, about 200 miles to the southeast.
“We know it’s going to grow today, because there’s a lot of uncontrolled fire line out there, there’s a lot of heat out there and there’s a lot of vegetation,” said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Jim Whittington.
The blaze, believed to have started from a campfire left unattended, cut through the popular White Mountains retreat of Greer on Wednesday, though fire crews managed to limit property losses there to six dwellings, fire officials said.

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