More than 2,500 fire fighters struggled Tuesday to gain the slimmest of advantages over a fast-moving wildfire that has already burned across 365 square miles of mountainous eastern Arizona.
As of Tuesday afternoon, only four structures had been lost in the fire, a point not lost on Brenda McCardle of Eager, Arizona, who got a visit from sheriff's deputies Monday night telling her to be ready to get out at a moment's notice should the fire race too close to her home at the base of Flat Top Mountain.
"They are doing a wonderful job of protecting property while fighting this fire," she said.
She said smoke from the fires comes and goes near her home, a reminder of the threat from one of the worst wildfires in Arizona history.
Yesterday, after the visit sheriff's deputies, McCardle said she was "crying and my brain felt dead."
"Today, I am preparing suitcases, and my mind is clearer," she said.
Critical fire weather continued Tuesday across much of the southwest, with low humidity and high winds raising the threat from fires in Arizona, New Mexico, southeastern Colorado and west Texas, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
The Arizona blaze, called the Wallow Fire, is beginning to threaten neighboring New Mexico, and spillover smoke pushed by high winds has disrupted flights and prompted an air quality alert on the other side of the border, authorities said Tuesday.
Wildfire smoke prompted scheduled flights from Oakland, California, Salt Lake City, Houston and Seattle into Albuquerque International Sunport to be diverted, according to a statement released by airport officials late Monday.FULL STORY