According to the Coconino County Sheriff's office, the pre-evacuation warning for Kachina Village and Forest Highlands will be lifted on Mon, May 26 at noon. This is dependent on fire conditions, but crews have made considerable progress on the western flank of the fire along Hwy. 89A.
Mandatory evacuations remain in place in Oak Creek Canyon from Slide Rock State Park to Sterling Springs Hatchery.
The Coconino County Board of Supervisors has approved a ban on all fires on public and private lands in the unincorporated areas of the county effective immediately. The prohibition will remain until the danger of wildfire decreases.
The ban applies to all open fires, campfires and other pyrotechnic displays. The Board of Supervisors had previously banned the use and sale of fireworks in the county.
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.
As a result of drought conditions, hot temperatures and increased fire danger, officials have announced elevated fire restrictions for the Tonto National Forest beginning Fri, May 23 at 8 a.m. The new restrictions prohibit virtually all fire or fire-causing activities in the forest. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal-burning device is banned.
The Woods Canyon Fire on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in the Black Mesa Ranger District is currently at 88 acres and 40 percent containment. Officials say dozer and handlines have been created on the east and west sides of the fire, but crews are still battling spot fires on the north side. The fire is located about 22 miles west of Heber-Overgaard.
More than 800 personnel have streamed in from around the country to fight the Slide Fire. And, a makeshift village has cropped up in the staging area at Ft. Tuthill south of Flagstaff. Here are some scenes from Thursday morning as crews mobilized for a third day of battling the blaze.
The Slide Fire burning in Oak Creek Canyon - and now on the outskirts of Flagstaff - is being fueled by dry conditions and strong winds. Many communities near the blaze are experiencing extremely smoky conditions and ash fallout. Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris spoke with meteorologist Lee Born about the fire's effect on air quality.