Telegraph Fire Grows to 76,260 Acres, Evacuation Orders Given

The Telegraph Fire burning south of Superior has prompted new evacuation orders in Arizona, as the wildfire grew to 76,260 acres with only 18% containment. Fire officials have reported that the Telegraph Fire was human-caused.

As of Tuesday evening, five buildings have burned and more than 750 firefighters are on the front lines fighting the raging fire. However, the update from the fire officials on Tuesday evening was encouraging. The fire hasn’t grown much since Monday night. The wind, which has died down has helped, however it is the hot, dry conditions that is still a big problem.

“We have heavy equipment. We have dozers and things that have sharp steel edges that make contact with the ground and make sparks. We’ve actually had to put out fires on the ground that our equipment has started,” said Dean McAlister, Coronado National Forest fire information officer.

Fire crews are working along the east side of the fire, using burnout operations so it doesn’t move closer to the Globe area. “Depending on what happens in our evening activities and the way the fire hits those lines that we are burning out during the daytime will determine a lot on whether the fire crosses and moves further to the east,” said McAlister.

There have been concerns about the possibility of the Telegraph Fire merging with the Mescal Fire like the Rodeo and Chediski fires in late June 2002. The Mescal Fire is burning east of the Telegraph Fire. Manny Cordova with the Southwest Incident Management said there’s about 10 miles between them.

Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers lost longtime family-owned home of in the wildfire. A spokesperson said the home was in the path of the Telegraph Fire about 5 miles southwest of the Town of Miami underneath Madera Peak. A spokesperson for Speaker Bowers said thoughts are with all Arizonans and communities faced with fire dangers this and every season and will work to ensure the state has all the funding needed for fire suppression and support in the upcoming fiscal year.

Evacuations

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office announced a “GO” notification for the following residents:
Go = Evacuate Immediately

  • All Miami, Arizona residents west of the Miami town limits
  • Schultz Ranch
  • Macky’s Camp
  • All Miami residents on the south side of Highway 60 from Dairy Canyon to Mackey’s Camp
  • Lower Central Heights – Russel Road from Coyote Trail through Russel Gulch
  • Ice House Canyon, Kellner Canyon, Six Shooter Canyon (Community Center south)
  • The eastside of El Capitan.

A “SET” notification was issued for the following areas:
Set =  Be alert and know there is significant danger in the area, and residents should consider voluntarily relocating.

  • All of Miami
  • Claypool homes on the south side of U.S. 60 from 60/188 junction west through Miami
  • Little Acres
  • Russell Road/Russell Gulch
  • Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center
  • Claypool, on the southside of Highway 60 from the 60/188 junction to Miami.
  • Central Heights area between the 188 junctions to De Marcos. This includes Central Heights, Little Acres, Miami Gardens and Cooper Country Mobile Home Park
  • South Globe, all area south Highway 60 and Highway 70 from De Marcos to the 70-77 junction.
  • Westside of El Capitan and Dripping Springs

Shelters

With the fire continuing to spread, the Red Cross has moved the evacuation shelter from Miami to Globe. The new shelter location is:
High Desert Middle School
4000 High Desert Drive
Globe, AZ 85501

An additional shelter has been set up at Skyline High School in Mesa. The Arizona Humane Society has also designated this site as an emergency animal shelter. Food, blankets, supplies and pop-up kennels are on hand for animals in need.  For larger animals, there is shelter at the Birch Stockyard off Highway 188 in Globe, and at the Apache Junction Rodeo Grounds.

Road Closures

The US 60 is closed from Superior to Top-Of-The-World. SR 77 is closed from Globe to Winkelman. SR 177 is closed from Superior to Winkelman. There are no estimated times of reopening. Part of the Tonto National Forest is also closed.


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