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Deadly head-on crash shuts down Highway 79, starts brush fire north of Florence


A deadly crash involving multiple vehicles shut down Highway 79 in both directions north of Florence on Friday afternoon.

According to the Department of Public Safety, three vehicles were involved in a head-on crash at milepost 143, resulting in at least one death. Additional information regarding how many people were involved in the crash, or injured, was not immediately available.

DPS officials said the crash involved a semi truck hauling hay.

The crash has forced the shutdown of the highway in both directions with no estimated time for reopening.

The crash also caused a fast-moving brush fire, which AZ State Forestry has deemed the Black Hill Fire. DPS says the hay from the semi truck caught fire after the crash, which may have started the brush fire.

The blaze is estimated to have burned 123-acres on the east side of the highway showing, "moderate, to extreme fire behavior," according to Forestry officials. Winds are quickly spreading the fire through grass and brush.

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Friday, 19 July 2024

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