Arizona fires essentially out, flood worries next - Tucson News Now

Arizona fires essentially out, flood worries next

By BOB CHRISTIE
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - The biggest forest fire in Arizona history is all but contained and authorities are now shifting their focus to preventing massive flood damage as summer storms begin to hit.

The specialized firefighting management teams that had battled the Wallow fire in eastern Arizona's Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest pulled out on Tuesday. Patrolling the completed fire lines and corralling the last 5% is now the job of the local forest and the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

The rains will be the next disaster officials will have to avert. Two other major fires that burned in recent weeks will raise the same concerns.

Apache County engineer Ferrin Crosby says a small thunderstorm Monday night quickly turned the Little Colorado River into a raging torrent. Such a storm normally would not affect flows.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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