Huge AZ Wildfire Enters New Mexico as It Spews Unhealthy Air Eastward

"SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. — An eye-stinging, throat-burning haze of smoke spewing from a gigantic wildfire in eastern Arizona is beginning to stretch as far east as central New Mexico, prompting health officials to warn residents as far away as Albuquerque about potential respiratory hazards.

The 672-square-mile blaze was no longer just an Arizona problem on Saturday as firefighters moved to counter spot fires sprouting up across the state line and lighting their own fires to beat it back. The forest fire remained largely uncontained and officials worried that the return of gusty southwesterly winds during the afternoon could once again threaten small mountain communities that had been largely saved just a few days ago.

Levels of tiny, sooty particles from the smoke in eastern Arizona were nearly 20 times the federal health standard on Saturday. The good news was that was down from roughly 40 times higher a day earlier, but it was all at the mercy of the ever-changing winds."

The Associated Press had the story June 11, 2011.


Officials Warn of Worsening Conditions from Smoke (ABC News)

"Hundreds of Firefighters Working Nightshift on  Arizona Wildfire Face Unseen Dangers" (AP)

"New Mexico Begins Evacuations Due to AZ Wallow Fire" (Fox Phoenix)

"As Arizona Fire Rages, Officials Seek Its Cause" (New York Times)

"A Break in Arizona Wildfire Siege" (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Source: AP, 06/13/2011