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June 9, 2011

Arizona wildfire rages on

A vast wildfire, measuring half the size of the state of Rhode Island and described as the second worst fire in Arizona history, continues to surge across eastern Arizona. The fire has jumped past firefighter's containment lines to reach the edges of residential areas, prompting more evacuation orders. Winds carrying burning embers continue to ignite smaller fires, causing new concerns about the prospect of extinguishing the 13-day-old fire. The Wallow Fire has destroyed approximately 337,000 acres and threatens main electrical lines that supply power as far away as west Texas. Thousands have evacuated. Paula Nelson (35 photos total)

Smoke from the Wallow Fire covers highway 60 in Springerville, Arizona. Several mountain communities have emptied in advance of the fire, and a utility that supplies power to customers in southern New Mexico and west Texas issued warnings of possible power interruptions due to the fire's spread, June 9, 2011. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

Fire crew members sharpen their tools as they prepare for a back burn operation in Eagar, Arizona. A raging forest fire in eastern Arizona has scorched an area the size of Phoenix, threatening thousands of residents and emptying towns as the flames raced toward New Mexico, June 8, 2011. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press) #

Smoke from the Wallow fire in Springerville, Arizona. Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned in eastern Arizona prompting evacuations by residents. Smoke loomed over the twin towns of Eagar and Springerville, home to about 7,000 people, June 8, 2011. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) #

Dogs ride in the back of a truck as smoke spreads from the Wallow fire. Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned in eastern Arizona prompting evacuations by residents, June 8, 2011. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) #

Safety officer Kurt Schierenbeck opens a gate as the Wallow Fire approaches Eagar Arizona. A raging forest fire in eastern Arizona has scorched an area the size of Phoenix, threatening thousands of residents and emptying towns as the flames raced toward New Mexico. (Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic/Associated Press) #

Brett Wilkins sprays down the roof of his home as smoke approaches from the Wallow fire, June 8, 2011. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) #

Sunset seen through the extensive smoke from the Wallow fire in Springerville, June 8, 2011. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) #

Arizona Department of Transportation workers prepare to close off a section of U.S. Highway 60 due to the Wallow Wildfire in Springerville, Arizona. A wildfire believed sparked by inattentive campers blazed unchecked for an 11th day in eastern Arizona leaving at least 600 square miles of pine forest blackened and menacing several mountain towns near the New Mexico border. The monster blaze, ranking as Arizona's second-largest wildfire on record, has chased up to 2,000 people from homes in and around two communities in immediate danger, Eagar and Springerville. (Joshua Lott/Reuters) #

Fire lights up a hillside south of State Route 260 as building lights shine in the foreground, June 6, 2011. (Pat Shannahan/The Arizona Repulbic/Associated Press) #

Firefighters make a stand along highway 260 as the Wallow Fire approaches outside of Eagar, June 8, 2011. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press) #

A sign asks for residents to evacuate as the Wallow Fire approaches Springerville, June 8, 2011. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press) #

Lucas Malone, who decided not to evacuate, sits on a rooftop while watching smoke from the Wallow, June 8, 2011. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press) #

Wallow Wildfire officials work at the Springerville Rodeo Grounds, June 8, 2011.(Joshua Lott/Reuters) #

Southwest Area Fire Management public information officer, Jim Whittington, points to a fire map during a news conference in Springerville, June 8, 2011. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) #

Firefighters sleep between trucks at the incident command post for the Wallow fire, June 8, 2011 in Springerville. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) #

Hundreds of thousands of acres have burned in eastern Arizona prompting evacuations by residents. A firefighter sleeps at the incident command post for the Wallow fire, June 8, 2011. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) #

Police officers direct traffic as local residents evacuate from the Wallow Wildfire in Springerville, June 7, 2011. (Joshua Lott/Reuters) #

Wayne Lutz rakes dead grass as he tries to protect his house from the Wallow Wildfire, June 7, 2011. The stubborn wildfire in eastern Arizona now ranks as the second-largest wildfire in Arizona's history. (Joshua Lott/Reuters) #

Smoke from the Wallow Wildfire surrounds trees in Eagar, Arizona, June 7, 2011.(Joshua Lott/Reuters) #

A sign outside of a home expresses thanks to firefighters for their efforts, June 7, 2011. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press) #

With smoke filled skies, Lauri Downer and her sister, Amy Downer, pack an SUV before they evacuate from Eagar, June 7, 2011. (Pat Shannahan/The Arizona Republic/Associated Press) #

Former Springerville Mayor, Kay Dyson, listens to Southwest Area Fire Management Public Information Officer, Jim Whittington, address members of the media about the Wallow Wildfire during a news conference in Springerville, Arizona, June 8, 2011.(Joshua Lott/Reuters) #

A sky crane makes a water drop on a spot fire southwest of Eagar, June 7, 2011. (Pat Shannahan/The Arizona Republic/Associated Press) #

Tom Hollender gets a hug from neighbor Samatha Earl while evacuating their homes in Eagar, June 7, 2011. (Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic/Associated Press) #

Scott Shellenberger, 32, packs his belongings during a mandatory evacuation in Eagar, June 7, 2011. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press) #

Firefighter Rigoberto Torres, of Orange Cove, Calif., walks along the road near the Wallow fire in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near Springerville, June 7, 2011. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press) #

Doug Clay tries to load a horse into a trailer during an evacuation in Eagar, June 7, 2011. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press) #

Emily Shupe comforts her 18-month-old son Jax as the family prepares to evacuate to Phoenix, June 7, 2011.(Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press) #

A police officer diverts traffic from entering the town of Eagar, as the Wallow fire approaches Springerville, June 7, 2011. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press) #

The Wallow fire approaches Springerville, June 7, 2011. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press) #

Ty Shupe, 3, looks over his shoulder at the approaching Wallow fire as his family prepares to evacuate to Phoenix, June 7, 2011. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press) #

Michael Chavez waits as his father gathers their belongings for evacuation, June 7, 2011. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press) #

Firefighters watch for embers from a back burn on Highway 180/191 near Eagar, June 7, 2011. (Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic/Associated Press) #

Misty Pate loads her dogs Abby and Roani, along with her other pets as she prepares to evacuate the Wallow Wildfire, June 7, 2011. (Joshua Lott/Reuters) #

A map of the Wallow Fire at a staging area in Springerville, June 9, 2011. Federal officials released an updated size of the blaze based on better mapping. The fire has scorched 525 square miles, mostly in ponderosa pine forest. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press) #



 
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