ARIZONA NEWS

Brush fire ties up I-17 traffic, prompts evacuations near Anthem Outlets

Jul 3, 2019, 2:39 PM | Updated: 6:18 pm
(Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera)...
(Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera)
(Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera)

PHOENIX – As motorists started heading out of town for the holiday Wednesday afternoon, a brush fire north of Phoenix prompted evacuations and tied up traffic on Interstate 17.

The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office evacuated more than 30 homes on the west side of I-17, north of the the Outlets at Anthem.

The agency said the fire had grown to approximately 10 acres and was threatening around 12 structures.

Aircraft support was ordered to assist crews battling the blaze on the ground.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said the freeway was shut down at milepost 232 at around 2:15 p.m. and all traffic had to exit at New River.

Northbound I-17 reopened within about an hour, although vehicles were backed up into Anthem.

Southbound I-17 reopened at about 5:30 p.m.

 

ADOT said it would take some time for traffic to begin flowing normally because of the heavy backup.

A record number of Arizonans were expected to travel over Fourth of July weekend, a large majority via automobile.

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Brush fire ties up I-17 traffic, prompts evacuations near Anthem Outlets