The Wallow Fire, the largest in Arizona history growing to approximately 511,118 acres, on Sunday has been 51 percent contained.
Sen. John McCain: Blame illegal immigrants for Wallow fire
The State Column | Staff | Sunday, June 19, 2011
Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain fanned the flames of immigration reform and border security Saturday, saying undocumented immigrants are partly to blame for the growing Wallow fire in Arizona.
“There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally,” Mr. McCain said during a press conference in Springerville on Saturday. “The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border.”
Mr. McCain, who has repeatedly called for a comprehensive immigration reform bill, seemed to contradict Arizona Republican governor Jan Brewer, who said the causes and sources of two southern Arizona fires have yet to be determined and that an investigation is under way.
Mr. McCain’s comment come as Ms. Brewer declared a state of emergency, activating the state’s National Guard. On Friday morning, Ms. Brewer conducted an aerial tour of the Horseshoe II and Monument fires,
and received a briefing from incident commanders. The two fires have burned more than 200,000 acres,
including 40 residential homes. Also still burning is the Horseshoe Two fire, which has blackened nearly 200,000 acres and is 65 percent contained.
Ms. Brewer joined Mr. McCain, calling Friday for additional troops to be deployed to the southern border.
“While I’m pleased that President Obama has agreed to temporarily extend the deployment of National Guard along the border, this extension would be more meaningful if it were for a longer period of time and coupled with broader security measures,” Ms. Brewer said in a statement.