Every day this week, we've been hearing from some of the people closest to last year's Slide Fire in Oak Creek Canyon. We've checked in with investigators, evacuees, emergency responders and firefighters. And today, we hear from two fire scientists about the ecological recovery of the burn area. We start with Rory Steinke, Watershed Manager for the Coconino National Forest and leader of the Burn Area Emergency Response Team.
Our Slide Fire series continues today with a look at how cell phones worked - and DIDN'T work in Oak Creek Canyon during the fire. Thousands of visitors drive through the scenic switchbacks every day. But once they descend below the canyon's rim, cell phones generally become useless. In an emergency situation, there's no 911 access for several miles. As KJZZ's Laurel Morales reports, that was a big problem when the Slide Fire broke out.
KNAU's Slide Fire series continues with a special installment of Brain Food. In early May of 2014, Coconino County emergency responders practiced a community disaster exercise. At the time, none of the participants knew just how soon they'd have to use it in "real time".
Fire fighting personnel observe smoke from the Slide Fire from the Oak Creek Overlook in May 2014. Eventually, more than 1,000 people were on hand to fight the fire which grew to more than 21,000 acres.
When fighting the Slide Fire one year ago, crews had to negotiate some of the most challenging terrain in the Southwest along with extremely dry and windy conditions. The 21,000-acre fire became the largest in the history of the Coconino National Forest, and more than a thousand personnel were called in to fight it. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius recently spoke with Coconino National Forest Fire Staff Officer Don Muise about how what officials and firefighters approached battling the blaze and what they took away from the experience.
This week, KNAU is airing a series of stories marking one year since the Slide Fire ripped through Oak Creek Canyon. We're sharing a collection of perspectives and experiences from some of the people closest to the first; investigators, fire crews, researchers, and evacuees. Hundreds of people fled under evacuation orders as the wildfire raced up the narrow canyon. In today's installment of KNAU's series The Slide Fire: 1 Year Later, residents of Oak Creek reflect on what it was like to leave that day not knowing how long they'd be gone, or what they'd be coming home to. Arizona Public Radio's Justin Regan produced this audio postcard.
This week marks one year since the Slide Fire broke out in Oak Creek Canyon. It burned more than 33 square miles and forced the evacuation of nearly 300 residents and visitors. It now stands as the largest wildfire in the history of the Coconino National Forest. Each day this week, KNAU will revisit the Slide Fire: checking in with evacuees, taking a look at how flora and fauna are doing, hearing from local officials about lessons learned in firefighting and community preparedness. KNAU's Aaron Granillo starts our series with an update on the investigation into the human-caused blaze.
Officials with the Kaibab National Forest are encouraging residents who live in wooded areas to remove potential fire fuel from their properties. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, they’ll be able to dispose of yard debris at a cinder pit near Parks.
Supervisors with the Coconino and Kaibab national forests have given final approval of the Four Forests Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, officials say the program will restore forest health and decrease wildfire danger.