Nutrioso residents to return home as crews slow spread of Wallow Fire

SPRINGERVILLE, AZ - Officials are reporting good news in the battle against the massive Wallow Fire, as crews reach 20 percent containment of the record-size blaze and more evacuees prepare to return home.

After being forced from their homes nearly two weeks ago, Nutrioso residents will be allowed back into the town as crews continue to slow the spread of the Wallow Fire in just about every direction.

At a community meeting Tuesday evening, fire officials said evacuees from Nutrioso will be allowed to return to their homes at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Greer and Alpine evacuees, according to officials, are still 5 to 7 days away from being allowed to go back to their homes.

Officials said an area just east of the town of Alpine remains a concern for firefighters.

"(Alpine/Luna) would normally warrant a Type 1 team itself," said North Zone Branch Director Jayson Coil. "We're placing that much emphasis on it."

A relative humidity in the area of just 2 percent made firefighting extremely difficult.

"That's an unprecedented amount of dryness," said Coil.

Winds that shifted from the southwest to the northwest also added to the difficult conditions.

"That's a wind we haven't seen before," said Coil.

To combat that wind, fire officials moved firefighters from the western edge of the Wallow Fire to the Alpine/Luna area.

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