Blistering winds pushed the Horseshoe 2 Fire in the Chiricahua Mountains on Wednesday to 32,892 acres, said Terri Wildermuth, spokeswoman for the Type 1 inter-agency team fighting the fire.
It is now the largest recorded fire in Chiricahua history, surpassing the 1994 Rattlesnake Fire, which burned 27,500 acres of wilderness.
This fire is now burning in big trees but has not been a "crown" fire for most of its 11-day rampage. On Wednesday, winds up to 50 mph in higher elevations produced big flames in places, but most of the fire was not that intense, Wildermuth said.
Containment of the fire - meaning safe lines around its perimeter - was at 25 percent.
An enclave of homes in the community of Paradise remained on evacuation alert, as crews finished preparing structures there for the fire's potential arrival.
On StarNet: See Google Earth active fire mapping online at azstarnet.com/multimedia where you'll also find a view of the Horseshoe 2 fire scene.