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Arizona wildfires threaten sites

Wildfires in Arizona are threatening to consume archaeological sites in the affected areas.

As the fire moves east toward New Mexico it enters the historically rich Gila and Apache-Sitgreaves national forests, where scientists estimate there are several thousand archeological sites.

“That may be a low figure,” said Jim Bradford, regional supervisory archeologist for the National Park Service. The sites, which are defined by the physical remains of human activity, can be anything from a scattering of spear points to a multistory cliff palace. Archeologists have evidence of 12,000 years of human history in the area.

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Story: Ashley Powers, Nicholas Riccardi and Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times | Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP

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