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Crews Continue To Battle Arizona, New Mexico Wildfires

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Massive Arizona Wildfire Spreads, Threatening Nearby Towns

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PHOENIX (WJZ)–Danger in the Southwest. The National Weather Service says seven states face an extreme risk of more wildfires.

Adam May reports now there’s a growing controversy over how they’re starting.

The massive Arizona wildfire that has been burning for three weeks jumps the border of New Mexico, threatening 200 residents living in the small town of Luna.

“The land is still mine,” said one resident. “Nobody can take that away from me.”

More than 800 square miles of Arizona forest have gone up in flames, destroying 80 buildings across the state.

Thousands of firefighters are on the ground, and more blazes are firing up across the Southwest.

“The thing I want to stress with folks is that we’re having an extremely dry year all the way across the south, from Arizona to Florida,” said Thomas Tidwell, U.S. Forest Service.

In Livingston, Texas, crews are battling the largest fire in east Texas history–14,000 acres.

Other smaller fires have forced evacuations.

“My neighbor, she was in tears,” said one resident.“I was close too honestly.”

The fires have prompted a review of federal forest management policies.  Senator John McCain– on a tour of the damage– also blamed illegal immigrants.

“They have set fires because they want to signal others and to keep warm,” McCain said.

The U.S. Forrest Service say there’s no evidence to back that up, and Latino activists accuse him of fanning the flames— which literally show no signs of letting up.

As of Sunday night, the largest fire in Arizona is only 44 percent contained.

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