DRAGOON, Ariz. (KVOA) – A wildfire burning in Cochise County has prompted the closure of Interstate 10 near Dragoon in both directions of travel after the fire progressed toward the highway Tuesday morning.
According to an update released by the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management at 8:52 a.m. Tuesday, the Walnut Fire has grown to 6,800 acres with zero percent contained.
Forestry officials said a GO status of the READY, SET, GO evacuation protocols have been issued for residents living in the area of Dragoon Road, East Dragoon Road, North Amerind Road and Triangle T Roads.
At this time, residents who live in the designated zone are advised to immediately evacuate to a shelter or a home outside the affected area.
Residents are advised to follow instructions given by emergency personnel at this time.
The American Red Cross has set up an evacuation and cooling center at Benson High School located at 360 S. Patagonia St.
Supplies are currently en-route to the shelter.
Officials say the blaze, which ignited Sunday at 2 a.m. seven miles northwest of Dragoon, has progressed toward the I-10, causing westbound I-10 has been closed at Milepost 323 near North Johnson Road. Eastbound I-10 has been closed at Milepost 321 near East Dragoon Road.
A detour has been set up from eastbound I-10 at Highway 80/Tombstone exit to Davis Road crossing over to Highway 191 back to Interstate 10. Westbound travel stops at Highway 191 to Davis Road crossing back to Highway 80 then back to Interstate 10.
Dragoon Road has been closed to all non-residential traffic.
In addition, Arizona Department of Transportation closed the right lane and off-ramp to the Texas Canyon Rest Area at Milepost 321. The rest area has also been shut down at this time.
While crews are continuing to hold the fire along the road, forestry officials said smoke has also been impacting drivers’ visibility in the area.
Motorists are advised to use alternate routes when traveling in the area.
Stay with News 4 Tucson for the latest updates.