KACHINA VILLAGE, Ariz. (AP) — Some business owners are worrying that a wildfire in Arizona's Oak Creek Canyon will keep customers away from the premier tourist area over the important holiday weekend.
The human-caused Slide Fire started Tuesday and by Thursday night had burned more than 11 1/2 square miles in and around the scenic recreation zone between Sedona and Flagstaff.
Firefighters say weather conditions for the next several days look favorable, with increased humidity and a chance of rain.
The Sedona Chamber of Commerce has been fielding hundreds of inquiries via telephone and social media from visitors wondering if they should still visit during the holiday weekend and about the air quality.
Many Sedona business owners also have taken to social media to remind people the resort town is open for business, but it hasn't kept some from changing their plans.
158-a-14-(Tony Sciacca (SHAHK'-uh), incident commander, Slide Fire, at news conference)-"outcome to it"-Incident commander Tony Sciacca says he understands that people who've been told to be ready to evacuate at any time are on edge. (23 May 2014)
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156-a-13-(Tony Sciacca (SHAHK'-uh), incident commander, Slide Fire, at news conference)-"more favorable conditions"-Incident commander Tony Sciacca says there's more moisture in the air now, which is a big plus. (23 May 2014)
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157-a-09-(Tony Sciacca (SHAHK'-uh), incident commander, Slide Fire, at news conference)-"we're hoping for"-Incident commander Tony Sciacca says they hope to expand beyond their five percent containment if the favorable weather holds up. (23 May 2014)
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155-a-05-(Tony Sciacca (SHAHK'-uh), incident commander, Slide Fire, at news conference)-"a little rain"-Incident commander Tony Sciacca says they may catch a break with the weather forecast. (23 May 2014)
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APPHOTO AZRF105: Smoke rises from the Slide Fire as it burns up Oak Creek Canyon on Thursday, May 22, 2014, in Sedona, Ariz. The fire has burned approximately 4,800 acres. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) (22 May 2014)
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APPHOTO AZRF103: Flames from the Slide Fire burn up Oak Creek Canyon on Friday, May 23, 2014, near Flagstaff, Ariz. The fire has burned approximately 7,500 acres and is five percent contained. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) (23 May 2014)
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APPHOTO AZPHP204: Helicopters drop water on part of the Slide Fire in Sterling Canyon at the Oak Creek Overlook above Sedona, Ariz. on Thursday, May 22, 2014. Hundreds of firefighters worked Thursday to protect communities on the edge of Flagstaff from a wildfire that is chewing up a scenic Arizona canyon with towering flames and burning entire trees down to nothing but ash. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Michael Schennum) MARICOPA COUNTY OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES (22 May 2014)
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APPHOTO AZVS110: A firefighting helicopter drops water on a forest fire in Oak Creak Canyon in Sedona, Ariz., on Thursday May 22, 2014. The human-caused Slide Fire started Tuesday and had burned 7 1/2 square miles in and around Oak Creek Canyon, a scenic recreation area along a highway between Sedona and Flagstaff that normally would be teeming with tourists as the Memorial Day weekend approaches. (AP Photo/ Vyto Starinskas) (11 Dec 2012)
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