More than 5,000 flee as winds stoke Arizona fires

(CNN) — A fast-moving wildfire that has sent thousands fleeing in eastern Arizona is the second-largest blaze in the history of the state, records show.

The so-called Wallow Fire sweeping through Apache National Forest has burned approximately 389,000 acres, Incident commander Joe Reinarz told reporters Tuesday.

That surpasses the 2005 Cave Creek wildfire previously ranked the second-largest blaze in Arizona history. It scorched 248,310 acres, according to records published on the Southwest Coordination Center regional interagency website.

The Rodeo/Chediski blaze of 2002, which burned 468,638 acres, was Arizona’s largest wildfire, officials said.

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  1. (CNN) — Crews made progress Tuesday in against Arizona’s Wallow wildfire, firefighters said.

    They also stepped back from an earlier claim that the fire had become the largest in Arizona history, saying that when acreage burning in New Mexico is subtracted from the total, the Arizona portion of the Wallow Fire is still smaller than the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire.

    The Wallow Fire has burned 733.5 square miles in Arizona and New Mexico, fire incident command spokesman Peter Frenzen said. The Rodeo-Chediski fire burned 722 square miles in Arizona. Frenzen did not provide a breakdown on how many acres in each state had burned in the current fire.

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