Interstate 17 reopened at Camp Verde after Copper Fire closed it

- Interstate 17 has reopened after the Copper Fire closed it for several hours just south of Camp Verde.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, the highway closure was at milepost 284. ADOT recommends that if you're traveling in the area, to give yourself plenty of time.

When Jarrod Smith was on his way home from Flagstaff at 2 p.m., he was heading south on the I-17 and came to a complete stop in the Camp Verde area. 

Just a few 100 yards from his truck, he saw fire.

"Then the wind picked up and it literally took that from a small fire, I don't know, it went several hundred yards to the west in a matter of minutes," Smith said.

Luckily, he was one of the first to approach the brush fire and was only stuck for about 45 minutes. Others traveling in the area weren't so lucky.

"They're working on getting a line around the perimeter of the fire and then they'll work their way in and take care of any fuels burning in the middle or any hot spots," said Debbie Maneely with the Prescott National Forest.

Maneely says the Copper Fire started as four small fires. Those fires eventually merged together.

Although the cause is unknown, she says the area is extremely dry and all it takes is one spark for something like this to happen.

"Do a little inspection on your vehicle. Check for chains if you're towing a trailer. Have a fire extinguisher with you just in case something happens and look out your review mirror if you're driving and pu

At least 100 acres have been burned, but that could change by the morning once officials get a better look at things.

Five crews, 10 engines and two helicopters helped fight the brush fire on Tuesday afternoon, and crews continue to work.

Fire officials say the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 10 News for updates.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories