Brush fire closes US 180 from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon

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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (AP) -

Officials say the state highway from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon is closed because of a wildfire on a mountain north of the city.

A section of State Route 180 is closed about 10 miles north of Flagstaff because of smoke from the fire burning on the slopes of Kendrick Mountain.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona wildfires]

The fire started last week following a lightning strike in a wilderness area just west of the state highway. The area has lots of dead and downed trees that were killed in a 2000 wildfire. The fire grew significantly Thursday because of high winds and has consumed nearly three square miles. Fire crews kept it from jumping the highway.

The National Forest Service says it will decide Friday morning whether it is safe to reopen the highway.

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