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Slide fire surpasses 10,000 acres; could double in tough terrain

WildfiresAmerican Red Cross
Cooler, wetter weather helps in Arizona wildfire, but steep terrain, not so much.
Arizona's Slide fire burns 10,000 acres. Officials say it could double in size

A popular state park in Sedona, Ariz., was expected to stay closed through the holiday weekend as a wildfire plowed through a red-rock canyon a few miles north.

The Slide fire burned more than 10,000 acres from Tuesday afternoon through Saturday, and officials said the acreage would likely double as firefighters decided to let the blaze burn through rugged, unreachable terrain. The fire was 5% contained Saturday morning.

Firefighters have been using controlled burns to keep the fire away from cabins, homes and power lines. They have also worked throughout the week to keep it from reaching two small communities a few miles northeast of the fire.

Residents of those communities remain on edge as authorities have warned they could be ordered to leave if gusts suddenly push the fire across a closed-off highway between Sedona and Flagstaff.

Cabins, homes and businesses in Slide Rock State Park were among 300 structures that have been evacuated and will remain closed for perhaps a week, fire officials said. Seven evacuees stayed Friday night at a shelter set up the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter. About 18 people had been there earlier this week.

Although hikers and campers had their Memorial Day weekend plans thwarted, officials urged people to continue with their holiday plans in Sedona and Flagstaff.

No injuries or damage has been reported. Nearly a thousand firefighters are working the blaze.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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