CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) - Firefighters are making good progress against the wildfire that closed Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and Arizona authorities say two people are being questioned about how the giant Wallow Fire started.
The Loop Fire broke out Monday evening in and around Carlsbad Caverns. It exploded in size to 25,000 acres on Tuesday, but firefighters now have it 25 percent contained.
Crews beat back flames threatening the park visitors center. The park is still closed although rangers hope to reopen it on Thursday.
The Wallow Fire is now the largest in Arizona history as the big blaze has grown to 732 square miles.
Firefighters have been trying to stop it from spreading into New Mexico and devouring the small Catron County community of Luna. On Tuesday fire teams were burning out potential fire fuels north of U.S. Highway 180 in the Luna Lake area.
So far residents there have not been asked to leave, just told to be ready. A community meeting with fire bosses is planned for 7 p.m. MDT Wednesday.
The forest fire is 18 percent contained.
Overnight it was reported that two people are being questioned about an abandoned campfire that may have started the Wallow Fire.
Late Wednesday morning fire commanders in Arizona lifted the evacuation order for Nutrioso and White Mountain Acres allowing only residents back in.
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