Oak Creek Canyon sites closed to public

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX (AP) -- Camping, fishing, swimming and hiking will be off-limits in Oak Creek Canyon and some surrounding areas over the holiday weekend and possibly for months to come because of the threat of flooding after a spate of recent wildfires.

All developed recreation sites, vehicle pullouts, swimming holes and hiking trails closed as of Thursday. Officials issued the closures on U.S. Forest Service land for public safety reasons because of the risk of flooding during the monsoon season and the limited ability to quickly evacuate people along Oak Creek in the event of a major deluge.

State Route 89A and the businesses along the scenic highway will remain open.

The National Weather Service says the chance for thunderstorms with measurable rainfall will increase Friday and through the holiday weekend.