Evacuation order issued for residents near wildfire east of Phoenix area
PHOENIX – An evacuation order was issued Tuesday after the Griffin Fire east of the Phoenix area burned through another 8,000-plus acres overnight.
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 east of metro Phoenix were put on alert for potential evacuations.
The American Red Cross opened an emergency evacuation center at Lee Kornegay School in Miami.
U.S. 60 was also closed in both directions Tuesday between mileposts 251 and 318 (from Globe to near the Fort Apache Reservation), with no estimated time for reopening.
The lightning-caused Griffin Fire in the Apache Mountains, about 5 miles northeast of Globe, had consumed nearly 39,000 acres and was 32% contained.
It started last week as two fires, but the Gin Fire merged with the Griffin Fire on Friday. The Griffin Fire might merge again with the smaller Champion Fire burning just to the south.
Another significant lightning-caused wildfire in the area, the Salt Fire, held steady Tuesday at about 20,000 acres, with containment increasing from 57% to 66% overnight.
On Monday, a Salt Fire-related evacuation along State Route 188 southeast of Roosevelt Lake was lifted.