Tanner Fire Closes Portion of State Route 288 Before Turkey Hunt Opener in Arizona

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Hunters in some areas advised to prepare alternate travel plans through this weekend.

Hunters and other outdoor recreationists are advised that the Tanner Fire, burning on the Pleasant Valley Ranger District of the Tonto National Forest, about 19 miles south of Young, has forced the temporary closure of State Route 288 from McFadden (milepost 290) south to the A-Cross Road (milepost 270).

The road closure is anticipated to last at least through the weekend and will affect access to the southern part of Game Management Unit 23. Hunters and others who use this road to travel to the Mogollon Rim are advised to prepare alternate travel plans during the road closure. Access to the northern part of Unit 23 is still open on SR 288 south from Highway 260 to McFadden.

The limited weapon-shotgun shooting shot turkey season, as well as small game seasons (quail, squirrel), both open on Friday, Sept. 30. About 550 tags have been issued for the turkey hunt in Unit 23.

According to a news release issued by the Tonto National Forest, Pleasant Valley Ranger District fire specialists are managing the lightning-caused Tanner wildfire, which began Aug. 20 near the peak of Armer Mountain in the Sierra Anchas. As of Sept. 28, the fire was about 6,000 acres in size, about 25 percent contained, and spreading mainly to the northeast.

Crews are continuing to work in the Workman Creek area, removing brush and establishing fire lines, as well as continuing mop-up operations on the northwest corner of the fire. Crews continue to work on removing fallen trees and hazardous limbs to secure Highway 288 for safe vehicle passage.

For further information about the fire, visit http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2705/ or www.fs.usda.gov/Tonto. For more information about the road closure, visit the Arizona Department of Transportation’s travel information site at www.az511.gov or call 5-1-1 from within Arizona, or contact the Gila County Sheriff’s Office at (928) 474-2208 and press 3. For questions or information about hunts in this area, contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Mesa regional office at (480) 981-9400.