ARIZONA, USA — Several roads and four national forests are closed as over 20 wildfires rage through the state, burning tens of thousands of acres.
On June 23, Coconino and Kaibab national forests were closed to the public for several weeks due to due to fire danger, dry conditions, and persistent wildfire activity.
Tonto National Forest officials will close the state’s largest national forest due to ongoing extreme fire danger beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 25. The order shall remain in effect until July 31, 2021, or until rescinded. Residents or businesses using roads in the restricted area to the extent necessary to access their private property are exempt.
Apache-Sitgreaves national forests will be closed to visitors starting on June 24 and the Prescott national forest will be closed from 8 a.m. June 25. People with private property will still be allowed in.
Arizona state-owned land will be closed off starting on June 25.
ADOT said there are no estimated times as to when the highways will reopen.
Walnut Fire closures
The Walnut Fire road closures include:
- The right lane of I-10 westbound near Dragoon and the off-ramp to the Texas Canyon Rest Area at MP 321. The Texas Canyon Rest Area is also closed.
Wyrick Fire closures
The Wyrick Fire road closures include:
- The junction of 504/99 to the Salvation Army on 504. The 99 road is also closed.
- Highway 277 southbound at the Y to Snowflake and Taylor. The northbound lane will remain open for evacuees.
- Highway 260 in both directions and in and out of Heber/Overgaard. Evacuees only will be allowed to travel.
Rafael Fire closures
The Rafael Fire closures related to the fire include:
- The area surrounding the Rock Butte Fires, west of Highway 89.
Backbone Fire closures
The Backbone Fire began on June 16 and was reportedly started due to lightning. Road closures include:
- State Route 260 in both directions between Camp Verde at milepost 227 and State Route 87 at milepost 252.
- State Route 87 in both directions between Houston Mesa Road in Payson at milepost 255 and Lake Mary Road at milepost 290.
Telegraph Fire closures
The Telegraph Fire burning in the Tonto National Forest merged with the Mescal Fire burning to the east last week.
Road closures include:
- The northbound lanes at State Route 177 in Winkelman.
Bear Fire closures
The Bear Fire closures include:
- US 191 south of Alpine, between mileposts 195 and 225.
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