Deadly wind-fueled US wildfires continue to threaten communities

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On Tuesday, crews continued to battle several wildfires across the country as high winds and dry conditions fueled the flames.

In Arizona, the tunnel fire’s containment increased to 20% late Monday, and the US Forest Service in the Coconino National Forest said the blaze was spread over 19,344 acres.

“The reduction in size is due to a more accurate depiction of the edge of the fire south of Darton Dome after the lava flows,” the agency said.


Fox Weather reported that fire weather conditions there are expected to reach record highs for this time of year, with winds shifting to the southwest.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said approximately 109 properties were affected by the fire, including 30 burned residences.

governor of arizona Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency for the county “to help affected communities with the resources needed to respond to and recover from the destruction of the fire.”

Meanwhile, two fires in New Mexico – the Calf Canyon Fire and the Hermits Peak Fire – have merged, expanding a combined area of ​​60,173 acres, according to the US Forest Service in the Santa Fe National Forest.

Evacuations in the northern part of the state remained in place for several communities on Monday.

Conditions there were still too unstable for authorities to assess the damage caused on Friday and Saturday.

Members of the New Mexico congressional delegation joined Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in a Monday call with White House officials and federal agencies asking for more federal land resources.


The governor declared a state of emergency in four counties last week.

In Nebraska, a fire in the southwestern Prairies has killed one person, injured at least 145 firefighters and destroyed at least six homes.

A retired fire chief from Cambridge, Nebraska, who was helping as a fire spotter in Red Willow County, died Friday night after his truck went off the road due to blinding smoke .

The body of John Trumble, 66, of Arapahoe, was found around early Saturday.

This image provided by the Nebraska State Patrol shows smoke from a wildfire, Saturday, April 23, 2022, near Cambridge, Neb.
(Nebraska State Patrol via AP)

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday that the Highway 702 fire had engulfed 41,448 acres and was 47% contained thanks to the work of nearly 160 firefighters.

Large fires have been reported across the country, including in Colorado, Florida, South Dakota and Texas.

The Gazette, a Colorado newspaper, reported last week that a fire in northern Colorado Springs that forced the evacuation of 500 homes was caused by allegedly illegal construction.


The National Interagency Fire Center said the amount of land burned to date is about 30% higher than the 10-year average.

Wildfires have become a year-round threat in the western United States. Scientists said the problems have been exacerbated by decades of fire suppression and poor management, as well as a more than 20-year-old mega-drought that studies link to human causes. climate change.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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