Final update to wildfiire south of Flagstaff that CLOSED I-17 #WatermelonFire

June 5th, 2022 at 3:26 PM

Several crews with local fire departments, state, and Forest Service are on the scene of a wildfire burning near Interstate 17 at milepost 303, which is roughly 27 miles south of Flagstaff. The fire is called the watermelon fire. The cause of the fire was a car that caught fire. The size is unknown at this time. I-17 is CLOSED northbound at mile marker 303.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and seek an alternate route.

There is no estimated time to reopen the northbound lanes. The southbound lanes are unaffected.

We will post updates here when we get them. This page will auto-refresh with updates.

UPDATE 7 PM: Both directions of I-17 are now open again. 

UPDATE 4:18 PM: I-17 is now closed in BOTH directions. Forward progress on the #WatermelonFire has been stopped. The acreage is between 25 and 30. Both northbound and southbound traffic on I-17 is stopped.

UPDATE 3:48 PM: An RV fire sparked this blaze. Officials confirm the size is at 5 acres with a moderate rate of spread. Resources on scene include a battalion, Hotshot crew, seven engines, two fire prevention patrol units, a fuels crew, and a law enforcement officer which comprises about 70 personnel in total.

UPDATE 3:45 PM: The fire is currently at 5 acres

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