First it was huge fires in Texas now a massive wildfire in Eastern Arizona is threatening wildlife and fish.


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_The fierce Wallow Fire sweeping through the White Mountains not only has humans on the move, but native and endangered wildlife that thrive in the thick forest habitat are fleeing for their lives. Elk, deer, antelope, mountain lions, coyotes, birds and fish of many species as well as endangered or threatened animals including Mexican spotted owls, Mexican gray wolves and bald eagles have perished in the flames, said Chris Bagnoli of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Other large, adult animals may be able to outrun the blaze. Bagnoli, who lives in Eagar, said animals such as black bears, adult deer, antelope and elk could get ahead of the fire.
_”But a female black bear with cubs will likely climb a tree to stay with them and that doesn’t work well for survival,” he said. “After the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, we found some female bears in trees that hadn’t fled and had been burned.” Many other animals with cubs or pups will stay and die with their young, Bagnoli said. Also unlikely to be able to outrun the fire are smaller animals such as ground squirrels, “that just can’t outrun a wall of flame” and many thousands of fish that will suffocate in debris and sediment-choked streams and small lakes.

On Wednesday, animals could be seen moving away from the fire about 10 miles west of Eagar along AZ 260. At one point, hundreds of elk emerged from a smoky area on the edge of the fire, crowding into the large meadows that flank the highway. Deer also could be seen emerging from the smoke._

Have any Arizona readers seen the aftermath or personally been affected by the fires?