The two-weeks old Wallow Fire in Arizona has so far burned nearly 190,000 hectares and destroyed 32 homes and four rental cabins, marking the state's largest wildfire ever.
Hundreds of people remain under evacuation orders close to the border of Arizona and New Mexico, while firefighters battle with the blaze. The fire was 20% contained as of Tuesday night.
The huge blaze in Arizona was made worse by the extremely thick forest, the result of a century of fire suppression which has let more trees grow in the world's largest ponderosa pine forest. Fires which once scorched only grasses and small trees on the forest floor now reach into the crowns and skip across miles of terrain through the treetops. Forests across the West have similar problems, the Belfast Telegraph reported.
Fires also grew in New Mexico and at the state's border with Colorado, where a busy interstate highway was closed.
The wildfire outlook issued by the National Inter-agency Fire Centre in Boise, Idaho, issued the wildfire outlook, warning above-normal fire potential in the South West until September.
Two people of interest are being investigated for the cause of the Wallow Fire, which is thought to have been sparked by an abandoned campfire.