Crews Gaining Upper Hand On Arizona Wildfire

Lower wind speeds gave fire crews battling a raging 14,000-acre wildfire some relief Tuesday and officials were confident that hundreds of previously threatened homes have been secured, authorities said. The fire's southern edge is about five miles from Flagstaff, and an estimated 1,000 residents of the mountain town of about 60,000 may be allowed to return home Wednesday. But efforts to fight the blaze will likely continue for at least two weeks, incident commander Dugger Hughes said at a news conference Tuesday evening. "It's going to be a long haul," he said. "But it's looking good." Massive clouds of smoke continued to choke Flagstaff on Tuesday as 800 firefighters battled to keep the fire from heading toward the town. By late Tuesday afternoon, authorities announced that the so-called Schultz fire was 20 percent contained. Crews continued to work on containment lines on the south and north sides where the fire is most active, said fire spokeswoman Erin Phelps.