Wildland Wallow Wildfire outside Alpine, Arizona set a record on Tuesday not only as the largest wildfire in state history but also bringing hundreds of ancient sites under threat from the raging fire.
Parts of Sitgreaves National Forests and New Mexico's Gila National Forest in Arizona are already burnt but both forests are known to have ruins of prehistoric times, reported AP.
The wildfire that has roared out of control for more than two weeks through the pine forests of eastern Arizona, near the state border west of the town of Luna, New Mexico, has charred over 469,000 acres, Reuters reported.
Archaeologists estimate that there could be up to a thousand ancient sites including rock paintings that may get affected by the Wallow fire.
Wooden medieval and modern times’ structures are more at risk, especially the remnants of 19th and 20th century’s mills, mines, ranches and cabins, they said.
At the same time archaeologists also expect the wildfire to unearth some unknown sites or ruins since such fires burn off the surface concealing the ancient sites.
The fire started in Arizona in May end and continues to burn along the Arizona-New Mexico border. More than 1,300 firefighters from across the nation are trying to contain the fire to protect several small mountain communities and stop the stubborn wildfire.