Pinnacle fire slows, three national forests close

- Contributed Graphic

KLONDYKE — The U.S. Forest Service announced a number of full forest closures in Arizona, due to increased wildfire activity across the state.

Closed to all public access are the Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino and Kaibab national forests. Remaining open thus far are Tonto, Prescott and Coronado national forests.

The Pinnacle fire, in the Santa Teresa Wilderness in Graham County, is at 34,395 acres and 42-percent containment. Fire growth slowed Tuesday, thanks to increased cloud cover and humidity, as well as a reduction in wind gusts.

That allowed residents in the Aravaipa-Klondyke corridor to return to their homes; however, those in the Black Rock Road area remain evacuated.

The Walnut fire, above Texas Canyon in Cochise County, forced the evacuation of residents in the Dragoon area, as well as the temporary closure of Interstate 10 in both directions Tuesday.

The fire is at 8,572 acres and 0-percent containment.

Greenlee County is dealing with four wildfires — the Bear fire at 7,300 acres, the Horton Complex fire at 4,355 acres, the Hobo fire at 600 acres and the Moore fire at 400 acres. All are at 0-percent containment, except the Hobo fire, which is at 50-percent containment.

The Bear fire has forced the closure of U.S. Highway 191 from just north of Morenci to Blue Vista. The closure is expected to remain in place until at least June 27.