A capture from a video at ChicagoTribune.com shows giant plumes of smoke from one of the five wildfires raging in Arizona.

A capture from a video at ChicagoTribune.com shows giant plumes of smoke from one of the five wildfires raging in Arizona.

Wildfires Burning on San Carlos Apache and Fort Apache Reservations

Reuters reports that numerous wildfires have already charred 27 square miles of dry ponderosa forest in central and eastern Arizona.

Two fires in particular are threatening Indian reservations. The Bull Flat fire on the Fort Apache Reservation has burned nearly three square miles and is currently about half contained. On the San Carlos Apache Reservation, the Ellwood Fire has burned nearly two square miles. The Ellwood Fire is believed to have been caused by lightning.

The fires — on Sunday, there were five burning simultaneously — signal an ominous start to fire season in Arizona. Last year, as many may recall, was a catastrophic one, which saw numerous fires, including the record-setting Wallow Fire, torch much of the arid Arizona landscape, including significant swaths of reservation lands.

See also: Photos: Remembering Fire Season 2011

burned hillside

Stands of burned out trees must be cut to reduce fuel loads that feed wildfires. In New Mexico, the Santa Clara, Jemez and Cochiti Pueblos are just beginning the major cleanup work on more than 156,000 acres of burned forest from last year's Las Conchas fire. Taliman photo

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Wildfires Burning on San Carlos Apache and Fort Apache Reservations

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