Double Whammy: Brush Fire & Crash Close I-17 at Sunset Point for Hours Sunday Evening

helicopter car crash
A helicopter about to land on I-17 near Sunset Point Rest Area due to a crash. Image: ADOT

UPDATE 11:13 p.m.: “The backups both north and southbound on I-17 are gone,”ADOT said at about 9 p.m.

The story below remains as earlier updated:

UPDATED 7:14 p.m. — A small brush fire closed I-17 northbound at the Sunset Point Rest Area Sunday evening, and only one lane of southbound traffic was getting by, causing a backup several miles long for travelers heading back to the Valley from the high country. In addition, a crash contributed to the problem.



The southbound lanes had been completely closed for a while. The backup was still 10 miles long as of 7 p.m., ADOT said. The northbound backup was 4 miles long.

“I-17 Northbound is closed for a brush fire, but crash is also causing delays at Sunset Point. A helicopter is landing for the crash now,” ADOT said just before 6 p.m. “Delays in both directions are expected to be long and drivers should consider delaying travel or using alternate routes.” [See Map Below]

Northbound traffic is being turned around at Sunset Point, ADOT said at about 6:20 p.m.

The brush fire is separate and unrelated to the 35,000-acre Brooklyn Fire (which is a few miles east of Sunset Point). The new brush fire was small, about 3 acres, said Frank Mosbacher, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Land Management. Two fire engines were on the scene.

“It has a low rate of spread,” Mosbacher told North Phoenix News at about 6 p.m. “Things are looking pretty good” in terms of gaining control of the fire, he said.

At roughly 7 p.m., Daisy Mountain Fire Department tweeted: “Our crews are just finishing up a brushfire on NB I-17 at MP 254 just north of Sunset Point.”

ADOT provides real-time traffic updates at www.az511.gov or you can call 511.

This story will be updated as more information is available.

adot alternate routes

Robert Roy Britt
NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels.
Robert Roy Britt on Email

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels.

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