Crews continue to battle the 7,500-acre Slide Fire near Flagstaff. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, favorable weather could bring some relief in fighting the fire that’s now 5 percent contained.
Firefighters are taking advantage of decreased winds and a chance of rain in battling the Slide Fire. Close to a thousand personnel are on scene. So far, they’ve prevented the fire from reaching Flagstaff, but managers say control of the blaze is still tenuous.
Tony Sciacca is the incident commander on the Slide Fire.
“Those winds could change, run things up-slope. We get an ember across that line, we’re back to where we were 36 hours ago,” he says.
Forest officials say they’ll conduct air operations today in an attempt to douse the flames.
The fire broke out Tuesday near Slide Rock State Park in Oak Creek Canyon and quickly spread north above the rim. More than 3,000 residents of Kachina Village and Forest Highlands south of Flagstaff remain on notice to evacuate their homes should the fire spread east of Highway 89A.
Sciacca says one of the main goals of the operation is to protect the communities.
“We are working very hard to get those people a little bit more relief and a little more comfort about being in their houses. When you’re poised on the wildland-urban interface and you live in it, this is some of the outcome to it,” he says.
The Slide Fire was human-caused and is being investigated. So far, no injuries have been reported and no structures have been burned.