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Authorities in Arizona warned Thursday of more wildfire danger as crews in the state and around the country worked to contain multiple blazes amidst windy and tinder-dry conditions.
The Locklin Fire, which was first reported in Bisbee late Monday, was mapped at 112 acres on Wednesday evening, with 30% containment.
FIRES CONTINUE TO TEST CREWS AROUND US
Evacuation orders were lifted and InciWeb said crews would continue to monitor it.
The Arizona Bureau of Land Management said the fire had been determined to be human-caused, noting that a “specific cause” was under investigation.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service in Prescott National Forest said Thursday that the Crooks Fire spanned 9,014 acres and was 23% contained.
More than 850 personnel are assigned to the fire, as well as a Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane and CH-47 Chinook. Its cause remains under investigation.
Wind gusts have driven the fire toward Dosoris Canyon just northwest of Phoenix.
The Arizona Department of Fire and Forest Management warned Thursday that a red flag warning in the state had expanded to the majority of northern Arizona.
Fox Weather reported that nearly 2 million Americans across the Southwest and the southern High Plains are under a critical threat of wildfires on Thursday.
The outlet said the elevated conditions extend from southeastern California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and southern Colorado.
MILLIONS MUST CUT WATER USE IN DROUGHT-STRICKEN CALIFORNIA
New Mexico is under a fire weather warning, as well as northern Arizona and the Las Vegas area. The warnings also reach into Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado.
While firefighters made significant progress on Wednesday, drier and windier weather worried federal fire incident commander Carl Schwope.
Schwope said Wednesday that success against the merged Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires could be short-lived.
“This fire still has tremendous potential to move and still has a lot of danger,” he stated. “We have a couple of critical fire days still ahead.”
On Thursday, the combined acreage of the fires was 63,720 acres, with 33% containment.
The Southwest has been bearing the brunt of large fires, with five incident management teams assigned to them, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. (NIFC).
Nationally, large fires have burned more than a million acres – burning unusually hot and fast for this time of year in the western U.S.
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The threat of increased fire danger weather across the country is expected to continue into the summer, according to a recent outlook issued by the NIFC.
Wildfire has become a year-round threat in the West. Scientists have said that problems have been exacerbated by decades of fire suppression and poor management along with a more than 20-year megadrought that studies link to human-caused climate change.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.