US & Canada

Arizona Wallow Fire 'uncontained' and growing

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Media captionWildfires have spread across hundreds of square miles of forest

An Arizona wildfire continued to grow on Monday morning, as firefighters contending with strong, dry winds remain unable to contain the blaze.

The Wallow fire, the third-largest in the state's history, has already consumed 301 sq miles (780 sq km).

More than 2,300 firefighters from across the country have joined the fight, with residents evacuating towns in the fire's path.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has described the fire as "horrific".

The fire, which started on 29 May, is threatening mountain communities in the east of the state.

Smoke from the burning pine forests can be seen in the neighbouring states of New Mexico and Colorado.

Most residents of the resort town of Greer, in the White Mountains, left on Saturday, packing their belongings in to vehicles as the Wallow Fire moved closer.

The few who remain in the town, just seven miles (11km) from the fire's front line, are under a pre-evacuation order, ready to leave at short notice.

Residents in the towns of Alpine and Nutrioso have also been ordered to evacuate.

Several towns near the New Mexico border - including Escudilla Mountain Estates, Bonita and Dog Patch - were evacuated on Sunday.

Fire crews were lighting lines of smaller controlled fires in an effort to contain the advance of the wind-driven main blaze.

Some 2,315 firefighters from several states, including New York, are on the scene fighting the blaze, according to local media, at a total cost of $3m (£1.83m).

A blaze in 2002 burnt through 732 sq miles in the centre of the state and another in 2005 that scorched 387 sq miles near Phoenix.

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