Slide Fire continues to grow within containment linePosted: Updated:
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- The Slide Fire burning in and around Oak Creek Canyon in northern Arizona continues to grow in size even though firefighters have established a containment line around all of it.
The fire's size increased from 28.9 square miles Monday evening to 31.7 square miles Tuesday morning due to burnout operations intended to deprive the fire of fuel.
The fire's official containment figure remains at 35 percent because some areas within the containment line still have active low-intensity fire while others remain hot to the touch.
The number of firefighters and other personnel assigned to the fire is now below 1,100, down from more than 1,200.
Fire management spokeswoman Jan Bardwell says some crews are being reassigned because there's less work to do.
The human-caused fire started May 20.
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Crews work on unprotected end of Slide Fire
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Crews fighting a wildfire in a northern Arizona canyon focused Monday on building containment lines along the last unprotected stretch of the blaze.
Firefighters will build 3 miles of protection lines on the southern end of the Slide Fire after having completed much of their work on the blaze's key northern and western flanks.
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 crowded with tourists Memorial Day weekend. Slide Rock State Park, one of the most-visited tourist spots in Arizona, has been closed.
No homes have been destroyed.
The fire covered more than 25 square miles and was 25 percent contained by Monday morning. It had grown more than 3 square miles since the latest report on its size.
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 two subdivisions to the east and minimize the potential for flooding.
Though warmer temperatures and drier air are expected Monday, lower temperatures and higher humidity made the fire less intense over the last few days.
"It was perfect timing," said fire information officer Manny Cordova. "It allowed us to make good progress."
Authorities lifted a pre-evacuation warning Monday for 3,200 people living in the Forest Highlands and Kachina Village subdivisions. Mandatory evacuations will likely remain in place in Oak Creek Canyon from Slide Rock State Park to Sterling Springs Hatchery.
Crews completed their efforts to protect a power line that supplies electricity to Flagstaff.
Officials say it has cost $3.5 million so far to fight the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Those high clouds moving into the Phoenix area this afternoon? Actually a mix of clouds and smoke from the Slide fire north of Sedona— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) May 27, 2014
Smoke from Slide Fire drifting over mainly the East Valley pic.twitter.com/z851nMjBQN— Royal Norman (@royalnorman) May 27, 2014
Food, water donations overwhelm Arizona fire crews
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Officials say material donations aren't necessary for crews fighting a wildfire burning in a popular northern Arizona canyon.
Coconino County officials and the managers for the Slide Fire said Sunday storage areas are at maximum capacity.
County spokesman Nathan Gonzalez says the agencies managing the blaze appreciate the numerous contributions including food, water and socks.
Gonzalez says anyone who wants to assist firefighting efforts can donate money or time to nonprofits such as the American Red Cross or the United Way of Northern Arizona.
The human-caused fire has been burning since Tuesday around Oak Creek Canyon, a scenic recreation area along the highway connecting Sedona and Flagstaff.
It has grown to 21 square miles and is 10 percent contained.
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