Prescribed Burn Smoke Shuts Down Arizona I-40, Causes Crashes

Prescribed Burn Smoke Shuts Down I-40, Causes Crashes

Arizona transportation officials have shut down portions of I-40 after heavy smoke has caused a series of crashes, possibly including a fatal two semi, one passenger vehicle crash.

A series of controlled burns have been conducted in the Kaibab National Forest in northern Arizona, causing heavy smoke that has contributed to several crashes on I-40. On scene reports say that visibility is only about 20 feet.

The fatal crash occurred on I-40 near mile marker 173, about 25 miles west of Flagstaff. That crash involved two semis and one passenger vehicle. One person died, but it is still unclear whether it was one of the truck drivers or whether it was a motorist. Police are still investigating that crash and trying to determine if the smoke was a factor.

Other minor crashes have been reported as a result of the smoke.

According to the Arizona DOT, eastbound I-40 is closed at Williams and westbound I-40 is closed west of Flagstaff. Drivers are encouraged to take the detour on State 64 and U.S. 180, though this will add about 80 miles to your trip. Arizona DOT says to expect delays on U.S. 180 because of the detour.

Sources:
AZ Central
Fire Engineering