Monday, June 20, 2011
While the smoke and fire continue to engulf Arizona homes, the national media is continuing to follow the fires closely.
High winds on Sunday posed a tough challenge to firefighters battling wildfires in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, where powerful gusts helped the blazes spread quickly.
The Monument fire just south of the city of Sierra Vista, Ariz., was one of several chewing through dry brush and timber where fire crews have been dogged for days by hot, windy weather.
On Monday, winds were down to 15 mph after gusts around 60 mph on Sunday. That drop also allowed aircraft to resume aerial attacks on the fire.
About 3,000 people from 1,700 homes were evacuated Sunday as the blaze — burning for a week — destroyed 14 more homes, Cochise County sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas said Monday. The fire had earlier burned down 44 homes.
"Winds pushed fire across Highway 92, making (it) run so fast and so hot that the danger to citizens in the path was significant," she told The Associated Press.
For frequent (often to the minute) fire updates visit our sister paper, the Sierra Vista Herald.