The Slide Fire is located in Oak Creek Canyon just north of Slide Rock State Park and burning northward, predominantly on the west side of the canyon. The fire is approximately 10,609 acres.
Last night crews performed firing operations along the north side of the fire to remove fuel along a power line which supplies electricity to Flagstaff. Night time firing operations were especially effective because lower temperatures, higher humidity, and calmer wind moderated fire behavior.
Much of the terrain in the canyon is steep and rugged, making conditions unsafe for firefighters. An outstanding example of the good work being done by firefighters was the treatment applied to the switchbacks on Highway 89A Thursday night and Friday.
Hotshot crews built a containment line across the switchbacks, and brought fire downhill, burning out the west side of Oak Creek Canyon to the bottom. This low intensity backing fire removed fine fuels and ladder fuels, preventing fire from running upslope, and consuming forest vegetation in its path.
Today, firefighters are preparing line on the southwest side in anticipation of additional burnout operations. Along the northern perimeter crews will patrol and continue mop up of last night’s firing operations, while preparing for more burn out operations tonight.
Chipping crews will chip brush and slash along the east side of the fire. Along the eastern flank, mop up of last night’s firing operations, monitoring, and structure protection will be the priorities for the day. Aircraft will support ground forces with water drops, and with PSD (perforated spherical device) firing operations.
Structure protection will continue in the Kachina Village and Forest Highlands areas.
Evacuations remain in place in Oak Creek Canyon from Slide Rock State Park to Sterling Springs Hatchery. Coconino County issued a pre-evacuation notice to residents of Kachina Village and Forest Highlands subdivisions.
Residents are advised to be prepared to evacuate. County emergency management encourages those in the affected neighborhoods to begin packing important items they may need for several days. These items include prescriptions, important papers, any special dietary needs and pets. No new evacuations are in place at this time.
Coconino County reminds people to register their cellphone number with the County’s CodeRED emergency notification system at www.coconino.az.gov/emergency. Only those residents whose numbers are registered will receive a direct phone call about any type of pre- or mandatory evacuation order.
Slide Fire summary:
- Containment: 5%
- Location: Originated just about 4 to 5 miles north of Sedona, just north of Slide Rock State Park.
- Date Reported: May 20 at approximately 4 p.m.
- Cause: Human caused, under investigation
- Structures Threatened: Approximately 300 structures, private homes, vacation resort cabins, and a Forest Service lookout tower. To date no structures have been lost.
- Injuries: No injuries reported.
- Resources: Approximately 975 personnel including 36 crews, 46 engines, three air tankers, nine helicopters, two air attack planes, and other resources.
- Highway 89A from Sedona to Fort Tuthill in Flagstaff
- Forest Road (FR) 535 at Highway 89A
- FR 533 at Highway 89A
- FR 231 at Rogers Lake
- FR 527 and 530 (west side; Volunteer Canyon area)
- Casner Mountain is closed to all vehicles
For information on air quality, please visit the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality website at http://www.azdeq.gov/function/programs/wildfire.html