June 22, 2011
Two Arizona wildfires that have scorched a quarter-million acres combined and destroyed dozens of homes just north of the U.S.-Mexico border were probably started by Mexican smugglers, the Cochise County sheriff said on Tuesday.
The remarks by Sheriff Larry Dever are likely to add to the furor sparked by Arizona Senator John McCain when he suggested that undocumented immigrants were to blame for some of the massive wildfires raging out of control in the state.
The latest of those, the so-called Monument Fire, erupted a week ago at the Coronado National Memorial and spread quickly into the adjacent national forest. It roared through the steep slopes and rugged canyons of the Huachuca Mountains before breaking out into ranch lands and populated areas over the weekend.