New Mexico – Firefighters battling a massive forest fire in eastern Arizona say the threat to two power lines feeding southern New Mexico and West Texas has greatly diminished.
Fire operations chief Jerome Macdonald says the blaze is just four miles away from the lines. But he said Sunday that firefighters were able to burn off most of the fuel in between, cutting the risk of disruption.
El Paso Electric gets about 40 percent of its power supply from the two lines. They run from a nuclear power plant west of Phoenix to the two states.
El Paso has been warning its 372,000 customers that they may face rolling blackouts if the lines are cut. The company has been lining up alternate energy supplies but didn't think it could replace all the power.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.