Debate Rekindled by Huge AZ Wildfire

A blame game is emerging in the midst of a wildfire that could become the largest in Arizona history.

Ponderosa pine forests have become dangerously overgrown after a century of fire suppression. Some blame environmentalists for lawsuits against logging. Others say firefighters have altered the natural cycle of lightning-sparked fires.

Forests that had 50 trees per acre now have hundreds or more.

The huge blaze known as the Wallow Fire is still burning out of control and has charred more than 386,000 acres with just five percent containment.

Power lines that supply much of West Texas and southern New Mexico remain in jeopardy and a wind shift could drive the flames into New Mexico, where residents of the small town of Luna are preparing to evacuate.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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