A wildfire continued to burn out of control in the mountains of eastern Arizona Tuesday, sending smoke into other states.
"It's hard to breathe," Greer, Ariz. resident Judy Cline told The New York Times. "It's like a thick fog. You can't see anything."
Smoke from the blaze has prompted officials in Colorado to issue a health advisory for the southern part of the state.
On Monday, strong wind gusts blew smoke into neighboring New Mexico. Flights into Albuquerque had to be diverted, and the National Weather Service issued an air quality alert for the area.
The third largest wildfire in Arizona state history has forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes.
"We wanted to stay but ended up leaving because it was getting worse and worse," Patrick Tureson told Phoenix-based KNXV-TV. "That fire was headed right towards me. It's just a bad situation."
Meanwhile, more than 2,500 firefighters from across the country are working to contain the blaze that has consumed 233,500 acres and destroyed five buildings since it started May 29.
"The bad news is it's supposed to pick back up all the way through Thursday," Joe Reinarz, commander of the team battling the fire, told residents late Monday.
Gov. Jan Brewer signed an emergency declaration Monday allowing the use of $200,000 in emergency funds and, if necessary, the activation of the National Guard.