ARIZONA NEWS

Fire forces closure on long stretch of highway between Globe, Show Low

Jul 6, 2023, 7:07 AM | Updated: 1:47 pm

PHOENIX – More than 50 miles of highway in eastern Arizona remained closed Thursday morning because of fire activity.

The highway was first closed in both directions between mileposts 256 and 311 around 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.

The closure, which is due to the Flying V Fire, stretched from just north of Globe to Cibecue Junction on the Fort Apache Reservation. That stretch of U.S. 60 is the main route between the Globe and Show Low areas. Globe is about 90 miles east of downtown Phoenix.

With U.S. 60 closed, motorists trying to get between Globe and Show Low had to detour through Payson, nearly doubling what is normally a 90-mile drive.

There was no estimated time for reopening.

Six fires started along U.S. 60 at around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, the Division of Wildland Fire Management for the Bureau of Indian Affairs said. Five of them were contained at under half an acre each.

The Flying V Fire, however spread to the northeast through pinyon-juniper and grassland west of U.S. 60.

As of Wednesday night, the fire had consumed 722 acres. No structures or infrastructure were threatened.

The fire was human caused, authorities said, but an exact cause was not announced.

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Fire forces closure on long stretch of highway between Globe, Show Low