ALPINE, Ariz. -- The Wallow fire is forcing the Arizona Department of Transportation to shut down an eastern Arizona highway. U.S. 191 is now closed between Alpine and the Strayhorse Campground (mileposts 220-253).
Alpine is about 25 miles south of Eager, on the east side of Arizona. The Wallow fire started a few days ago and is burning approximately 12 miles southwest of Alpine.
Bob Dyson, a fire information spokesman, talked with 3TV on "Good Morning! Arizona" about the Wallow fire. He said firefighters are warning those in the area of heavy smoke, which could cause visibility problems for drivers. Additionally, because of the behavior of the fire and current conditions, Dyson said it is safer if they keep the public off and away from Highway 191. There is no estimated time as to when the roadway will reopen.
There are not a lot of quick alternate routes around the closure of Highway 191. However, drivers could use Highway 180 for north and south travel.
The Wallow fire has forced additional highway closures, including sections of state routes 261 and 273, the main access roads to Big Lake and Crescent Lake in the White Mountains. ADOT is working with fire officials to ensure the safety of the traveling public.
S.R. 261 is closed starting seven miles south of S.R. 260 to Crescent Lake (mileposts 394-405) and S.R. 273 is closed between Sunrise Park and Big Lake (mileposts 390-397). There is no estimated time for reopening the highways, according to the ADOT.
ADOT has set up a hotline for drivers where they can call in and hear the latest highway conditions around the state. Dial 511 to hear the recorded information. ADOT updates the line throughout the day.