Arizona Battling Third-Largest Wildfire in History
By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist
Jun 6, 2011; 11:17 AM ET
The massive Wallow Fire has become the third-largest wildfire in Arizona's history with more than 192,746 acres consumed.
Thousands of personnel are working to battle the blaze in southeastern Arizona, which was started last Sunday by human activity and has yet to be at least partially contained.
With the total number of acres charred by the blaze calculated to be 192,746 as of Monday afternoon, EDT, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The Wallow Fire is currently the third largest in Arizona's history.
The Associated Press reports the Rodeo-Chediski blaze from 2002 with its 469,000 acres ranks first, followed by the Cave Creek complex fire and its 248,000 acres from 2005.
The Wallow wildfire surpassed the Willow Fire from 2004, which burned 120,000 acres.
According to the Incident Information System website, evacuation orders are in effect for the Arizona communities of Alpine and Nutrioso. Residents of Greer have been told to prepare to leave if officials deem it necessary.
The weather will not fully cooperate with firefighters. Gusty winds, while not as intense as in recent days, will still howl ahead of the storm churning offshore of California.
While California welcomed rare June rainfall from that storm, much-needed wet weather will remain absent from southeastern Arizona.
With the winds blowing from the southwest, residents well to the northeast of the blaze will have to endure smoke-filled skies.
The concern for late-day gusty winds will continue through most of the upcoming week.