Weather Keeps Crews from Completing Efforts to Slow AZ Wildfire

Fire crews in Arizona had been hoping that some fire lines they were burning overnight would help slow the advance of a raging forest fire in eastern Arizona. But a fire information officer says only some of the lines were burned before humidity levels got too high.

Winds in the area were expected to gust up to 35 miles an hour Wednesday.

Crews wanted to ignite unburned areas of grass and other fuel, hoping it'll help stop the spread of the flames. Cars, trucks and trailers loaded with belongings have been streaming out of the town of Eagar, where about half of the 4,000 residents have left.

People who haven't yet left are keeping an eye on the flames, and waiting to hear if they will have to flee.

A fire commander says the blaze is moving slower Wednesday and crews are hoping that will help them corral it. The fire has scorched an area the size of Phoenix.

Officials across the border in New Mexico are telling residents in Luna to be prepared to leave if the winds push the flames into that area.

Forest Service officials say the blaze, covering more than 600 square miles, has destroyed 11 buildings. No serious injuries are reported.

Another major wildfire is burning in southeastern Arizona, threatening two communities.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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