The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Saturday, May 24, 2014, 12:10 p.m.

Arizona wildfire spreads quickly

  • A Skycrane helicopter dumps 2,000 gallons of water on the Slide Fire as it burns up Oak Creek Canyon on Friday.

    Ross Franklin / Associated Press

    A Skycrane helicopter dumps 2,000 gallons of water on the Slide Fire as it burns up Oak Creek Canyon on Friday.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A wildfire burning in rugged terrain in a northern Arizona canyon grew significantly because of fires intentionally set by crews to rob the blaze of its natural forest fuels, officials said Saturday.
Crews have mostly completed burnout operations on the key northern flank of the Slide Fire and are preparing to make similar protection efforts on the fire's western end. The burnout operations conducted Friday night by fire crews contributed to the heavy smoke over Sedona and Flagstaff.
"They are making progress. Having the humidity and cooler temperatures was certainly very helpful. But we are by no means done yet," Coronado National Forest Service information officer Gerry Perry said.
There's a chance of thunderstorms Saturday in the area that could bring much-needed moisture. But if such a storm doesn't produce any rain, its winds could fan the fire.
The size of the human-caused fire had reached 16 square miles by Saturday morning. It had grown nearly 5 square miles since the latest report on its size.
It's burning around Oak Creek Canyon, a scenic recreation area along the highway between Sedona and Flagstaff that would normally be filed with tourists as Memorial Day approaches. Slide Rock State Park, one of the most-visited tourist spots in Arizona, has been closed.
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 Forest Highlands and Kachina Village to the east, and minimize the potential for flooding.
Perry said crews working Friday night also focused on building protection lines to handle a finger of fire that took off in west Oak Creek. There were no homes in the area, and crews have made solid progress in protecting that area, Perry said.
Crews cleared out brush and conducted burnout operations to protect a power line that supplies electricity to Flagstaff.
Evacuations remain in place for a 2-mile stretch north of Slide Rock. The fire was 3 to 3 ½ miles away from the residential areas of Forest Highlands and Kachina Village, where 3,200 residents remained under pre-evacuation warnings.
No homes have been destroyed. The fire is 5 percent contained.
Story tags » Fire

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

Photo galleries

» More HeraldNet galleries

HeraldNet highlights

What's your number?
What's your number?: Find out what your Seahawks jersey says about you
12th Man photos
12th Man photos: Seahawks spirit is showing everywhere; share yours
Capturing perfection
Capturing perfection: Local photographers recognized for great outdoor images
Rivers are bad neighbors
Rivers are bad neighbors: Moving people from flood zones is a long, expensive slog
SnoCoSocial