Tough choices as fire crews decide which homes to protect

SPRINGERVILLE, AZ - As evacuation notices spread into Springerville, firefighters are noticing dangerous conditions around homes that could lead to their destruction.

Brush piles, firewood and other flammable materials are often left close to houses, and ABC15 has learned firefighters may be forced to move past those properties if the Wallow Fire burns into town.

"It's called triage and we have to prioritize which homes will be saved and which ones will burn," explained fire information officer Jim Williams.

Firefighters guarding properties in town only have about 500 gallons of water to use at a time. If fire threatens a house surrounded by flammables left by neglectful owners, crews will be forced to move to a more easily defendable property.

Firefighters are telling residents to move flammable material on their property 50 to 100 feet away from their homes or the homes of others.

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