Wildfire Closes 39-Mile Stretch of Highway in Rural Arizona

Fire has burned 800 acres of timber and brush



MORENCI, Ariz. (AP) — A 39-mile stretch of a scenic highway in a sparsely populated part of eastern Arizona is closed due to a lightning-sparked wildfire burning in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.

Travelers can get around the closure of U.S. 191 between Morenci and Hannagan Meadow by detouring on U.S. 180 and State Route 78 in western New Mexico, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.

The closure is expected to be prolonged and the highway is open only to local traffic. the department said.

The fire started Saturday about 22 (35 kilometers) miles north of Morenci and as of Tuesday had burned 800 acres of timber and brush with approximately 155 firefighters and other personnel assigned to it, according to a post on the Inciweb multi-agency website.

The post said fire managers expect to have the fire contained by June 20.

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