State Route 87, I-17 reopened after closures for brush fire

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by Mike Gertzman

azfamily.com

Posted on July 7, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 8 at 7:21 AM

PAYSON, Ariz. -- Brush fires caused road closures on the Beeline Highway and Interstate 17 outside the Valley on Saturday, but the roads were reopened by Saturday night.

State Route 87, the Beeline Highway, was closed southbound from milepost 199, at the Bush Highway-Saguaro Lake Road to milepost 235, at State Route 188.

All northbound traffic was detoured onto Bush Hwy.  All southbound traffic was detoured onto State Route 188.

Drivers were advised to use US 60 or SR 188 to US 60 to avoid the affected area. SR 88 was also closed for part of the day. 

"It could be better. This has put a little dent in our plans here. Now I'm gonna have to go through Globe which is an extra two and half hours," said one of the many drivers caught in the closure on the Beeline Highway.

The Long Fire scorched about 30 acres along the median and on the west side of the Beeline Highway, according to a spokeswoman for the Tonto National Forest.

Air and ground resources, including 2 Hotshot crews and 9 engines were successfully deployed to suppress the fire which reportedly started in multiple locations.

The fire was contained by 8:30 Saturday night.

The smoke from the Long Fire was visible from Phoenix.

The cause is under investigation

In a separate incident, a brush fire forced officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety to close southbound Interstate 17 at milepost 248 for some time on Saturday.

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