Ariz. wildfire spreads across New Mexico border

Categories: Calamities/Pestilence

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CBS News

Two weeks after roaring to life along the Arizona-New Mexico border, firefighters are finally making some progress against the massive blaze, with 6% containment.

The massive wildfire in eastern Arizona has already burned more than 600 square miles. About 30 homes and cabins have been destroyed.

As many as 10,000 people have been forced to evacuate.

It could get worse later today when the wind is expected to pick up considerably, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Whittaker.

Last night this massive fire did cross the border into western New Mexico. Firefighters are trying to beat this blaze at its own game, trying to fight fire with fire, setting backfires to clear out brush in an attempt to starve the ravenous inferno.

Gusts are expected to return later today, making the job of knocking down the flames all the more urgent.

Photos: Arizona wildfires

While residents are anxious to return to their homes, firefighters say it still could be several days before it’s safe enough for them to do so.

One big test will be what the winds decide to do today. If they pick up, they could scatter hot embers or change the direction of this fire.

When asked how firefighters remain optimistic in the face of the spreading fire, fire information officer Peter Frenzen said, “I would say it’s more realism. Firefighting is one-day-at-a-time based on current conditions. We adapt our tactics to meet the situation at hand. We have plans in place. So these firefighters are out there focused on the immediate situation. “

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