Slide Fire

Efforts by the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team have proven successful and effective on areas of the Slide Fire and work is nearing completion.

Even though the effects from rain events cannot be entirely prevented by Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) efforts they can mitigated by reducing water flow, debris runoff and erosion from rain event on lands downstream and down-slope from moderately to severely burned areas within the fire perimeter.

Even though the Slide Fire has been extinguished, there remains a threat of flash floods, mudslides and rock slides in Oak Creek Canyon. On three occasions recently, the Arizona Department of Transportation temporarily closed portions of State Route 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff due to flooding and debris flow. With the exception of weather driven closures, State Route 89A remains open. Even though Forest Service campgrounds and forest service recreation areas in Oak Creek Canyon are closed, all of the businesses are open.

The Slide Fire has been extinguished, but the threat of flash floods, mudslides and rock slides is real in the Oak Creek Canyon area. Just in the last week, the Arizona Department of Transportation has been forced to temporarily close a portion of State Route 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff on three occasions due to flooding and debris flowing along the burn area near the highway.

A section of State Route 89A in Oak Creek Canyon near the Slide wildfire burn area has been closed because of flooding, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

 SR 89A is closed near the Switchbacks section of SR 89A, from milepost 388 to milepost 391, about 10 miles north of Sedona. Motorists wishing to travel between Sedona and Flagstaff should consider State Route 179 and Interstate 17 as an alternative.

All Coconino County offices will be closed Friday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day holiday.

While the administrative offices at the Sheriff’s Office will be closed, dispatch, records, patrol, and detention will conduct business as usual. Please dial 911 for emergencies. For non-emergencies, dial 928-774-4523 to connect with the non-emergency dispatch number or to leave a message for one of the administrative offices.

The Coconino National Forest has expanded the Slide Fire emergency closure area to include all National Forest land within Oak Creek Canyon beginning Thursday (July 3).

The closure is being implemented for public safety due to the risks associated with flooding from monsoon, debris flow and the limited ability to quickly inform and evacuate people along Oak Creek if a flood event were to occur.

The Slide Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has been heavily engaged in treatments efforts and now with Interim Request #2’s approval, hillslope treatments of seeding and straw mulch application using certified weed-free products has begun.  Aerial seeding began mid-morning today and helimulching efforts begin tomorrow. 

The goal is to treat the areas which pose the most severe hydrologic response to values at risk before the onset of the monsoon season in an effort to slow down runoff and decrease the water repellency of the soil. 

Coconino National Forest (NF) will expand the existing Slide Fire closure area for public safety on July 7 or with the onset of the monsoon pattern—whichever occurs first.

The proposed expansion of the closure area will include National Forest land within Oak Creek Canyon beginning on the southern end near the Huckaby trailhead at Schnebly Hill Road, up to the top of the switchbacks on the north end of the Canyon.

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