Firefighters dug their way through the blackened landscape of Arizona’s highlands to douse smoldering tree stumps and roots while helicopters circled overhead with buckets of water to extinguish the huge blaze.
More than 500 firefighters were on hand in both states, and aid was still en route on Friday as the main management team looks to take command of resources in one of the biggest and most dangerous blazes near Flagstaff, Arizona.
The blaze was fought by helicopters on Thursday.
Another large fire southeast of Taos, New Mexico, has also burned more than 77 square kilometers, but in a rural area with no structures damaged and only a small number of evacuations ordered.
Airstrikes continued into northern New Mexico, where at least one tanker aircraft was able to participate in the effort northeast of Santa Fe, likely to be destroyed Friday.
County sheriff’s deputies ordered more evacuations of abandoned buildings Thursday and closed some roads after a large fire burned into a rural area southeast of Taos, New Mexico, but said no buildings burned.
Officials there said they were still reviewing the damage on Thursday, but determined six families had been displaced by the fire.
Coconino County officials made residents aware late Wednesday of a system in which they could seek help with food, emergency shelters, and other necessities.