A little good news from the fire front: The Arizona Game & Fish Departments reports that the Wallow Fire, now the second largest wildfire in the state's history, has bypassed the main buildings at Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area near Springerville, thanks to the valiant efforts of department personnel. From the report
On Monday evening, June 6, the fire burned into Sipe from the south. Department personnel had worked all day Monday to soak the buildings and surrounding grounds to deter structure loss. Once the fire hit the grassland flats, it laid down and went around the buildings to the east about 100 yards out. The meadows and mesas to the south, east and north were pretty well hit. None of the main structures were lost; however, the fire did consume the historic Nelson homestead cabin built in the late 1800s on the south end of the property.
Plenty of wildlife rode the Monday evening fire out at Sipe, including elk, pronghorn and numerous birds. On Tuesday morning, there were several ducks on the entrance pond with young-of-the-year. A hummingbird nest with mom and two babies survived the 50-plus mph winds on Monday evening. There were numerous hummingbirds flying and songbirds calling, and a red-tailed hawk was observed trying to catch a rabbit.
Sipe hosts the annual High Country Hummers event in late July. We'll post updates about the status of this year's event as soon as we hear from our colleagues at AGFD.
We send our sincere thanks to the firefighters and support staff battling this and other blazes and deepest sympathies to those who have lost homes to these disasters.