Containment on northern Arizona wildfire inches up - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Containment on northern Arizona wildfire inches up

Posted: Updated:
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Officials said Sunday that they were slowly making progress in controlling a wildfire burning in a northern Arizona canyon that typically would draw many visitors over the Memorial Day weekend.
The fire covered 21 square miles and is 25 percent contained, up from 5 percent the day before.
"It will still be a lot of work to be done before those (containment) numbers will increase significantly," fire spokesman Rico Smith said.
The Slide Fire has grown in the last two days as crews set fires to rob the blaze of its natural forest fuels.
The human-caused fire has been burning since Tuesday around Oak Creek Canyon, a scenic recreation area along the highway between Sedona and Flagstaff that would normally be filed with tourists as Memorial Day approaches. Slide Rock State Park, one of the most-visited tourist spots in Arizona, has been closed.
The goals for fire managers are to protect the 300 structures threatened in Oak Creek Canyon, keep the fire from pushing into the communities of Forest Highlands and Kachina Village to the east, and minimize the potential for flooding.
Smith said that fire officials expect to lift a pre-evacuation warning at noon Monday for the 3,200 residents of those two communities. Mandatory evacuations will likely remain in place in Oak Creek Canyon from Slide Rock State Park to Sterling Springs Hatchery.
No homes have been destroyed.
Smith said firefighters were focused Sunday on strengthening containment lines and clearing debris on the western end. Crews planned to continue burnout operations, which mostly have been completed on the key northern flank.
Aerial drops of water and devices that ignite prescribed fires in areas officials intentionally want to burn also resumed Sunday, Smith said.
Progress on the fire will be contingent on the weather. Officials said rain and cloud cover Saturday night into Sunday morning lowered the blaze's intensity, and then burnout operations were able to continue as the humidity dropped later in the day.
An Arizona Department of Environmental Quality report said breezy winds may push smoke east of the fire Sunday and into Monday. According to the agency, people more sensitive to air quality who are in the village of Oak Creek and surrounding areas may want to reduce heavy outdoor activities.
In Sedona, officials said the surrounding air has been declared "very unhealthy" because of heavy smoke drifting south of the fire. As a result, anyone with asthma, lung disease or heart disease as well as the elderly and children should stay indoors.
  • U.S. & World NewsMore>>

  • WHO: Ebola moving faster than control efforts

    WHO: Ebola moving faster than control efforts

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:55 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:55:19 GMT
    Presidents from the West African countries hit by the Ebola outbreak are meeting with world health leaders to come up with ways to stop the spread of the deadly disease.[more]
    An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than the efforts to control the disease, the head of the World Health Organization warned as presidents from the affected countries met...[more]
  • Ohio lawmaker proposes LeBron license plate

    Ohio lawmaker proposes LeBron license plate

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:54:28 GMT
    An Ohio lawmaker wants to create a specialty license plate celebrating the homecoming of LeBron James.[more]
    An Ohio lawmaker wants to give the state's motorists the chance to score a license plate honoring LeBron James.[more]
  • 35 killed in Gaza; Israeli soldier feared captured

    35 killed in Gaza; Israeli soldier feared captured

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:34 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:34:05 GMT
    A three-day cease-fire in the Gaza Strip has gone into effect following heavy Israel-Hamas fighting.[more]
    A Gaza cease-fire quickly unraveled on Friday as violence erupted in and around a southern town in the war-ravaged strip, with at least 40 Palestinians killed in Israeli shelling while the military said two soldiers were...[more]
  • Stay Connected

  • Like Us on Facebook
  • Follow Us on Twitter
Powered by WorldNow

Sunbeam Television Corp
7 Bulfinch Place
Boston, MA 02114

News Tips: (800) 280-TIPS
Tell Hank: (855) 247-HANK
Corporate Media Services: (800) 642-1551

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WHDH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.