The Wallow wildfire in eastern Arizona. Photo by Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic
I flew to Arizona yesterday afternoon, and on the final descent into Phoenix the giant Wallow wildfire was visible, spread out to the southeast. The smoke billowed up across what seemed to be the entire horizon line. When you read about a wildfire covering more than 600 square miles, you note the epic dimensions abstractly. Seeing it is another thing. The photograph here, by Rob Schumacher, appeared in today's Arizona Republic, describes the breadth of the blaze particularly well. The photo also suggests the living nature of the fire, as if it were a massive beast moving through the landscape, consuming everything in its path. Headline writers understand the metaphor: "Monster Arizona Wildfire as Seen From Space" says the Business Insider website. "Monster Arizona Wildfire Threatens Towns" says USA Today. "Monster Wildfire Continues to Expand" says the Huffington Post. "A New Monster Attacks" says the Yuma Sun. As of today, firefighters say the monster is 40 percent contained.