Nature Takes Charge

Some call it "The Monster." One of the worst blazes recorded in the American West, the fire in eastern Arizona has consumed nearly half a million acres. All but 5,000 of 30,000 residents forced to flee the inferno were allowed to return after firefighters secured the area around the commercial hub of Show Low. But for more than 400 households, home was a charred ruin. The fire continued licking westward, devouring a canyon below the town of Forest Lakes.

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