Slide 5/23 Fire Evening Update – 8,500 acres, 5% containment

Fire near the Sterling Canyon portion of Oak Creek Canyon. Taken on 5/22/14 by Brady Smith. Credit: U.S. Forest Service, Coconino National Forest.

Fire near the Sterling Canyon portion of Oak Creek Canyon. Taken on 5/22/14 by Brady Smith. Credit: U.S. Forest Service, Coconino National Forest.

May 23, 2014

Media Information: 623-252-1782

Public Information:

Information Center: 928-679-4173, 928 774 1947, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Website: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov

Facebook www.facebook.com/slidefireinfo

Twitter: @CoconinoNF

Flickr (photos and maps): www.flickr.com/coconinonationalforest

Flagstaff, Ariz. – The Slide Fire is located in Oak Creek Canyon just north of Slide Rock State Park and burning northward, up the canyon into places such as West Fork and Harding Point.

The fire burned with lower intensity today across most of the fire, allowing firefighters to make progress. However the fire was very active in the area of Howard Pocket NW of Oak Creek Canyon. Crews conducted successful burnout operations along the “switchbacks” down Highway 89A to the fish hatchery which, will continue tonight. Firefighters, protecting structures in evacuated areas, were able to allow the fire to slowly back downhill to the containment lines behind the structures. This action will provide more security for evacuated homes. Firefighters held fire lines on the SW flank of the fire adjacent to the Secret Mountain Wilderness. On the north and west side of the fire, crews were able to improve lines along FR 535 to the power line and southeast along FR 231, facilitating burnout operations when weather conditions permit.

A burn out operation will be initiated tonight and is part of the overall containment strategy on the NW section of the fire. The idea is to create an area northwest of the main fire that circles the deep canyons, including West Fork of Oak Creek, keeping firefighters out of very hazardous terrain. When burnout operations are completed, it will halt the main fire as it approaches, because of the lack of fuel. Although this strategy will increase the total fire acreage it also lessens impacts to natural resources and provides for the safety of firefighters. These actions are taking place because firefighter and public safety are our number one priority.

Firefighters plan to conduct burnout operations overnight while atmospheric conditions dampen

fire intensity.

Size: Approximately 8,500 acres.

Containment: 5%

Location: Originated just about 4 to 5 miles north of Sedona, just north of Slide Rock State Park.

Date Reported: Tuesday, 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.

Current Resources: Approximately 960 personnel including 15 hotshot crews, 51 engines, three air tankers, nine helicopters, two air attack, and other resources.

Closures:

· 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

Evacuations: 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 is reminding 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.

For information on air quality, please visit the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality website at: http://wildlandfire.az.gov

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Source: InciWeb

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