• ITVI.USA
    15,746.290
    48.010
    0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    23.890
    0.480
    2.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,748.000
    48.490
    0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.810
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.640
    0.250
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.680
    -0.160
    -5.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    -0.060
    -4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.300
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.020
    0.040
    2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.030
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    7.000
    5.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,746.290
    48.010
    0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    23.890
    0.480
    2.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,748.000
    48.490
    0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.810
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.640
    0.250
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.680
    -0.160
    -5.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    -0.060
    -4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.300
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.020
    0.040
    2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.030
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    7.000
    5.6%
InsightsNewsWeather and Critical Events

Large wildfires lead to road closures in Arizona

Truckers could hit smoke from fires in other parts of West as well

Two wildfires in Arizona have spread quickly since being discovered earlier this month.

The Mescal Fire, discovered June 1, was 65,825 acres in size as of Monday evening. The Telegraph Fire, discovered Friday, is not far behind at 61,211 acres. Both are located east of Phoenix and north of Tucson and are less than 25% contained, according to Inciweb.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the following roads are closed due to the fires:

• U.S. Highway 70 closed to commercial vehicles between mileposts 272 and 302.
• U.S. Highway 60 from Superior to Top-of-the-World.
• State Route 77 from Globe to Winkelman.
• State Route 177 from Superior to Winkelman.

Telegraph and Mescal wildfires in Arizona. (Google maps)

Much of the western U.S. has been plagued with drought for at least the past 12 months, reaching “extreme” or “exceptional” levels in many places. These are the two worst categories issued by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Wildfires have been an unfortunate fact of life for many communities, and every so often the threat increases for new and existing fires to spread out of control as winds become gusty. This will be the case through at least the middle of this week in areas north of the Arizona fires.

Fire weather conditions will be especially favorable in western Colorado, much of Utah, southern Nevada, portions of eastern California and far western Arizona. Along with the extremely dry ground and gusts of 35 to 45 mph, the air itself will be very dry. Relative humidity during peak heating hours will be less than 15% in some areas.

The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings across the region, including Grand Junction, Colorado; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Bishop and Death Valley, California; as well as Kingman and Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The warnings last through Wednesday.

Besides potential low visibility and road closures in these areas due to smoke, the air will be unhealthy. Drivers should spend as little time as possible outside their trucks.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

You might also like:

I-40 bridge over Mississippi River to remain closed indefinitely

Scariest tunnels for truckers

Hot Shots: Best freight-related social posts of the week

Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his nearly 20 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We are glad you’re enjoying the content

Sign up for a free FreightWaves account today for unlimited access to all of our latest content

By signing in for the first time, I give consent for FreightWaves to send me event updates and news. I can unsubscribe from these emails at any time. For more information please see our Privacy Policy.