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.

USDA Forest Service

Smoke is a complicated substance. Most people who live in or near western forests have a good feel for how it affects people. But what's less well known is that it affects plants, too.

Justin Regan

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. 

Springs are magical places where groundwater comes to the surface — lush green patches that are among the most diverse, productive, and threatened ecosystems on Earth.

The Coconino National Forest is asking volunteers to help plant thousands of trees in the Schultz Fire Burn Area near Flagstaff this weekend. As Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo reports, forest officials hope Saturday’s event will help bring the area back to life. 


Officials have raised the fire danger to moderate across much of the Kaibab National Forest. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, windy, dry conditions have crews on high alert.

Forest manager across the southwest are in the midst of a week-long campaign, preparing people for wildfire season. “Southwest Wildfire Awareness” runs from Sunday, March 29th through Sunday, April 5th. Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo spoke with the deputy fire staff officer on the Kaibab National Forest, Holly Kleindienst, about the campaign.