Wildfire has burned at least 59 square miles
GLOBE, Ariz. (AP) — Some residents near Globe were told to evacuate Tuesday due to a wildfire that’s mainly burning grass and brush in the Tonto National Forest.
At around noon, Gila County Health and Emergency Management issued an evacuation order for communities east of U.S. 60 from the Arizona Department of Transportation Yard to Winters Ranch. That includes residents off Fairgrounds Road, Winters Ranch and Johnson Ranch.
Other communities in the area about 90 miles (144 kilometers) east of the Phoenix metro area were put on alert for potential evacuations.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, U.S. 60 is closed in both directions for 67 miles from Globe to the State Route 73 junction due to the wildfire.
Authorities said two different fires were started by lightning on Aug. 17 and they merged six days later to form a wildfire that has charred more than 59 square miles (153 square kilometers) in the Apache Mountains as of Tuesday afternoon with 32% containment.
Dry and windy conditions have fanned the flames the past few days.
More than 550 firefighters were battling the fire on the ground and in the air.
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