Big blazes have been all over the United States. In Colorado, there has been more than 35,000 acres burned, nearly 270 acres in New Mexico, and in Arizona 5,490 acres have been charred.
The Arizona wildfire started two weeks ago by lighting. At first, the fire was allowed to keep burning, but the low humidity and high winds have fueled it, making it grow and spread rapidly. More than 400 personnel are fighting the fire, who could potentially threaten East State Route Highway 67, the campgrounds, restaurant and lodge on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Trails closed include the South Canyon Trail; Point Imperial Trail; Nankoweap Trail; Arizona Trail starting at Lindberg Hill north to the Park boundary; Ken Patrick Trail from the Uncle Jim Trail junction and the Point Imperial Trail.
Incident Commander, Alan Sinclair stated that “we are utilizing existing roads and natural features wherever possible to halt the progress of the fire into sensitive areas […] However, firefighter and public safety remain our top priority.”
The blaze has burned approximately 5,490 acres, and the personal fears the potential for extreme fire behavior could limit their capability to extinguish it. The Environmental Health Department of the city of Albuquerque issued a notification stating the air quality has been affected, causing a light haze over the metro area.
City spokesperson Tyler Muxworthy claimed that this is not a health alert and that “the Environmental Health Department is actively monitoring particulate pollution levels and wildfire activity, as well as coordinating with federal and state government agencies.”
Meanwhile, Colorado is also suffering from a fire started by lighting in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. The fire has been robust enough to drive residents out of 140 homes in Coaldale, southwest of Denver. Apparently, the residents won’t be able to return until after a week or two.
All wildfires combined have destroyed over 35,000 acres
The Beaver Creek fire is the biggest blaze, along the Wyoming state line, and has burned 20,981 acres. The Cold Springs fire near Nederland has been contained, after destroying 500 acres and eight homes. Two Alabama campers, Jimmy Andrew Suggs, 28, and Zackary Ryan Kuykendall, 26 are facing charges of fourth-degree arson for failing to douse a campfire.
In New Mexico, another blaze has destroyed more than 270 acres, sixty-seven structures, including forty homes and as many as 30 vehicles, according to fire incident commanders. Personnel has contained about 40 percent, and Governor Susana Martinez declared a state of emergency on Friday, which will able the county to obtain additional resources to fight the blaze in the village of Timberon. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Source: Washington Times