Highway Remains Closed as Crews Battle AZ Wildfires

Firefighter with hydraulic extrication equipment

GLOBE, Ariz. (AP) — A main travel route between metro Phoenix and eastern Arizona’s White Mountains remained closed Saturday as firefighters fought lightning-sparked wildfires burning brush and grass in rugged hill country.

A 57-mile (92-kilometer) stretch of U.S. 60 was closed northeast of Globe on Thursday because one of the fires had crossed the highway.

The Arizona Department of Transportation said Saturday it wasn’t known when the highway would reopen.

Sections of State Routes 188 and 288 north of Globe also remained closed.

Fire crews were battling three large fires burning in the area, including one that prompted an evacuation advisory for the rural community of Wheatfields north of Globe.

Together, the fires had burned nearly 50 square miles (130 square kilometers) with zero containment as of Saturday, fire officials reported.

Fire managers used aircraft and burnout operations as they worked to keep the fire from reaching Wheatfields.

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