A pair of fast-growing wildfires continued to grow in Arizona on Monday, burning more than 100,000 acres, causing evacuations in some areas and forcing the closure of four national highways.
Residents of Superior watched warily as the Telegraph fire spread to more than 56,000 acres, surrounding the mining town to the east, south and west as combat teams struggled to contain the encroachment of the fire along the US 60 and homes south of the freeway. It is expected to continue to grow this week as dry conditions and high winds fuel the flames.
Smoke from the blaze was visible around the city east of Phoenix. Flames and fire engulfed one of the area’s landmarks, Mount Picketpost, south of Superior.
“If you can see it for miles, you can only imagine how big the flames were in person,” said Camran Ramos, a Superior resident who told the Arizona Republic of USA TODAY Network that she and her family were starting to prepare to evacuate at any time.
They will take “the important things: papers, medicines. Everything else, if it passes, it passes, ”she said.
The Telegraph Fire remained in zero containment Monday afternoon.
To the east, on the Apache Indian Reservation of San Carlos, near Globe, the Mescal fire had consumed more than 52,800 acres, increasing by 14,000 acres since Sunday, according to fire officials and the Quality Department. of the Arizona environment. The blaze was 8% contained, according to InciWeb, a forest fire tracking website operated by the US Forest Service.
The Mescal fire, which began on June 1, is fueled by grass and brush as well as drought conditions, fire officials said. The cause remains under investigation.
Another fire in Arizona:Massive Phoenix fire causes ‘biggest response’ in local fire department history
While the cause of the Telegraph fire is also under investigation, it was likely started by people, according to InciWeb, a forest fire tracking website operated by the US Forest Service.
The two wildfires forced the Arizona Department of Transportation to shut down sections of US 60 – one of the state’s main east-west highways – as well as National Highways 60, 70 and 170.