Telegraph Fireplace Continues to Rage in Arizona; Mescal Fireplace 8% included
Two fast-moving forest fires continued to worsen Monday in Arizona, burning more than 100,000 acres, evacuating some areas and forcing four federal highways to be closed.
Superior residents watched vigilantly as the Telegraph Fire grew to over 56,000 acres and encircled the mining town to the east, south, and west as combat teams worked to contain the fire’s advance along US 60 and homes south of the freeway. It is expected to keep growing this week as dry conditions and strong winds fuel the flames.
The smoke from the fire was visible around the city east of Phoenix. The flames and fire engulfed one of the area’s landmarks, Picketpost Mountain, south of Superior.
“When you can see it from miles away, you can only imagine how big the flames were in person,” said Camran Ramos, a Superior resident who told the Arizona Republic of the USA’s TODAY Network that she and her family were begin to prepare to evacuate immediately.
They take “the important things: papers, medication. Everything else, if you can, you can,” she said.
The Telegraph Fire remained at zero containment on Monday afternoon.
To the east, on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation near Globe, the Mescal Fire had consumed more than 52,800 acres and grown 14,000 acres since Sunday, according to fire departments and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. According to InciWeb, a forest fire tracking website operated by the US Forest Service, the fire was 8% contained.
The mescal fire, which began June 1, is fueled by grass and scrub and drought conditions, firefighters said. The cause is still being investigated.
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Although the cause of the Telegraph Fire is also being investigated, it was most likely human started, according to InciWeb, a forest fire tracking website operated by the US Forest Service.
The dual forest fires have forced the Arizona Department of Transportation to close off sections of US 60 – one of the state’s major east-west freeways – and federal highways 60, 70, and 170.