Wildfire closes 8th Avenue Bridge

Bridge reopened at about 2:52 p.m.

Contributed Photo: A wildfire burns along the 8th Avenue Bridge just south of the Gila River.

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – Swirling winds have apparently reignited a wildfire that is encroached on the 8th Avenue Bridge. Authorities temporarily closed the bridge due to the situation but reopened it at about 2:52 p.m.  

The wildfire first started shortly before noon on Monday and appeared to be out by late afternoon. 

Contributed Photo: Trees burn just east of the 8th Avenue Bridge on Tuesday.

The fire apparently reignited due to windy conditions Tuesday and is burning the brush that is next to the bridge. The fire is just south of the Gila River and was burning on the eastern side of the bridge as of 2 p.m.

As of about 2:35 p.m., the fire had moved past the bridge to the west, continuing alongside the river and was about a quarter-mile west of the bridge. Graham County Undersheriff Jeff McCormies said that he wasn’t aware of any structures in immediate concern other than the bridge. A Sheriff’s Office sergeant visited a residence in the area but found nobody at home.  

With the bridge carrying utility and internet lines there may be an interruption of service. 

Residents are encouraged to avoid the area if possible. How the fire started is under investigation but it is believed to have been human-caused.

Contributed Photo: A brush fire burned along the 8th Avenue Bridge just south of the Gila River.
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