9 Jun 2011

Wildfire forces thousands from homes in Arizona

9:48 pm on 9 June 2011

Thousands of residents have been forced from their homes as a wildfire rages across the state of Arizona for an 11th day.

Firefighters are battling dry winds as they try to contain the flames, which have engulfed hundreds of square kilometres in the White Mountains area in eastern Arizona.

They are using bulldozers to clear away brush and trees, attempting to create a barrier for homes as the fire approaches.

The fire is heading for transmission lines that supply electricity to hundreds of thousands of people as far east as Texas, and could reach the power supply as early as Friday, the BBC reports.

Residents of one town over the border in New Mexico have been put on alert in case the fire spreads there.

An unattended campfire is thought to be the cause of the fire, which has been moving around 10 kilometres a day.