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Thousands of people in Arizona flee a raging wildfire


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A wind-driven wildfire in Arizona nearly tripled in size on Wednesday after burning dozens of structures and forcing thousands to flee their homes in a drought-stricken rural area.

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The blaze, dubbed the Tunnel Fire, swept northeast over largely uninhabited hills 14 miles (23 km) north of Flagstaff, Arizona, scorching 16,625 acres, an area larger than Manhattan, according to the system. fire information Inciweb.

“I can’t stress enough how quickly this fire is moving,” True Brown, a fire management official for the Coconino National Forest, told reporters late Tuesday. “I can’t stress how important it is to leave the fire area.”

The blaze, sparked by traditional gusty spring winds, forced more than 2,000 residents from their homes, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors said. The fire destroyed 24 structures.

According to data from the Desert Research Institute and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

About 360 miles east, an elderly couple died last week at their home in Ruidoso, New Mexico, when a wildfire destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands to flee the mountain town.


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