Arizona wildfires felt in Iowa


Photo by Calc-tufa, Flickr

Iowa is among the states feeling the effects of Arizona’s wildfires. NewsOK reports that high winds are causing the fires to spread across Arizona, forcing towns to evacuate. The smoke from these fires is believed to be making its way to the middle of our state:

A ridge of high pressure was carrying the haze to central Iowa, said Kyle Fredin, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Denver. The smoke was visible in New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.

Fredin said the smoke wouldn’t be noticeable in the Midwest, where humidity already makes conditions hazy. He said it could, however, produce striking orange-pink sunrises and sunsets.

In eastern Colorado, the haze obscured the view of the mountains from downtown Denver and prompted some municipal health departments to issue air quality warnings.

Arizona’s current wildfires are among the worst in state history.

The fire is the state’s third-largest, behind a 2002 blaze that blackened more than 732 square miles and destroyed 491 homes and a fire in 2005 that burned about 387 square miles in the Phoenix suburb of Cave Creek.

Another major wildfire, the state’s fifth-largest, burned in southeastern Arizona, threatening two communities.

Fortunately, Arizona has received ample help in fighting the fires. Governor Jan Brewer believes that the government has taken the necessary steps in order to subdue these natural disasters.

Roughly 2,500 firefighters, including many from several western states and as far away as New York, are working to contain the wildfires, fire information officer Peter Frenzen said.

Brewer signed an emergency declaration Monday that will allow the use of $200,000 in emergency funds and authorizes the mobilization of the National Guard if it becomes necessary.

She praised the work of the federal government in fighting the flames.

“The federal government has stepped up and done their job and we believe we have everything that is necessary at this point in time to keep everything under control,” Brewer said.

Brewer also praised the firefighters battling the fires.

“We feel at this point in time that all the boots that are necessary are on the ground now,” she said.

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