Published: Jun 23, 2011 6:46 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 23, 2011 6:46 PM EDT

PHOENIX (AP) - Firefighters in Arizona say they nearly have one of the state's three major wildfires under control. But it's mostly because the fire has already burned through an entire forest.

A spokeswoman for the team that has battled the huge fire since it broke out more than six weeks ago says the 348-square-mile blaze has churned through the forest on top of a small mountain range in southeastern Arizona.

The Coronado National Forest is known worldwide as a bird-watching area -- although the section that is considered the best for that purpose was not severely damaged.

Full containment of that fire is expected by Saturday.

Thousands of firefighters are also making major strides against two other fires. They made enough progress on one of them -- the largest in Arizona history -- to allow the return of most of the 10,000 people who were evacuated at some point. The small town of Luna, N.M., reopened yesterday.

Residents near Sierra Vista, Ariz., are also back home after fleeing a 44-square-mile fire that has destroyed dozens of homes.

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