Arizona’s Wallow Fire explodes across the mountains

Blaze is now 400,000 acres!

Looks like the already huge fire doubled in size in a day. This is in some of Arizona’s best mountain and wildlife country. Wallow Fire continues to grow
Blaze hits 389,000 acres; Eagar, Springerville lose power

Our earlier stories on the Wallow Fire. Big Arizona forest fire burns through Mexican wolf habitat





  1. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    This is/was absolutley Arizona’s best wildlife and mountain country. As a resident of AZ I have spent many nights camping and many days exploring AZ’s White Mountains. It has it all: streams and lakes supporting trout, osprey, bald eagles…canyons, grasslands, forests of pine, spruce, fir, aspen, and of course wildlife: elk, deer, black bear, bighorn sheep, porcupine, beaver, cougar, coyote, fox, bobcat, mexican gray wolves…With the exception of Yellowstone, I have seen more wildlife here than anywhere else. It was gorgeous country, the best in AZ IMO, and now it is burning.

    I hope that this fire at least burned in a mosaic pattern and didn’t take everything. I will be traveling there after the fire has run its course to view the damage and I’m hoping that within the fire perimeter there is still some forest left unburned.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      I only saw it once. April 2009. It was very beautiful around Springerville. I have a few photos up on Google Earth.

    2. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      Jeff- What are you hearing about the 3 or 4 wolf packs in that area? I guess there are a few den sites with pups….. I’m holding my breath…. What a tragedy for humans and for wildlife

      1. Jeff N. Avatar
        Jeff N.

        The article Jon has linked is all I have heard. I did call the Mexican Gray Recovery field office in Alpine yesterday, but of course my call went to voicemail and I have not rec’d a return phone call. They obviously have bigger priorities than giving me a lobo update. If I hear anything in the next few days I will post here.

    3. jon Avatar

      That’s awesome Jeff n. Do you have any pics of the mexican gray wolves or the other wild animals you have seen?

      1. william huard Avatar
        william huard

        Thanks Jon

      2. Jeff N. Avatar
        Jeff N.

        I do not have pics. I I only bring binocs and a spotting scope. I’ve had one encounter w/ the lobos (Hawks Nest Pack) as 2 cautiously approached my camp one November morning. It was a great encounter; they were so curious.

  2. Kayla Avatar

    This is extremely sad to me to see happening. There is
    some very magnificent country down that way to see it now
    all go up in smoke. Just hope it does not continue
    burning and burns over to the Gila Area in NM also.

  3. mikarooni Avatar

    I have heard rumors that, when the fire was smaller and could perhaps have been contained, firefighting resources were pulled off overall fire containment and redirected, including bulldozers, to clearing fire breaks around expensive vacation homes. I was told that the AZ government pushed this priority and that the feds, reluctant to fight with the AZ government, complied. Any truth?

    1. Jeff N. Avatar
      Jeff N.


      I haven’t heard this but I find this unlikely. The fire started on remote federal land. There really aren’t many expensive vacation homes near where the fire started. The closest known dwelling was the Hannagan Meadow Lodge which is on leased forest service property located on HWY 191. There is an area between the fire’s origin and Alpine where a few nice homes exist but this is north of the fire’s origin and I don’t think resources were pulled from the fire fight to save these homes. It would have been a couple of days before the fire would have reached these homes.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan