Arizona Wildfire Grows To 13,000 Acres

Arizona Wildfire Grows To 13,000 Acres

By Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times

A wildfire north of Sedona, Arizona, grew to more than 13,000 acres Sunday, but officials said they were making slow progress.

“Everything is going well,” Dan Bastion, a spokesman for the firefighting effort, told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s just taking a lot of time.”

The so-called Slide fire began near Slide Rock State Park and had expanded to 13,423 acres as of early Sunday evening, up from 10,000 acres on Saturday.

But the blaze in picturesque Oak Creek Canyon has not destroyed any structures as it chewed through the steep terrain between Sedona and Flagstaff. Nor has anyone been hurt in the huge firefighting effort involving 1,219 personnel.

“There’s nothing (facing) an imminent threat right now,” Bastion told the Times.

About 300 structures were evacuated last week and remain so, Bastion said, but people have been allowed in briefly to get a few belongings.

Containment inched up to 10 percent on Sunday, and officials expect that to improve as firefighters use controlled burns to eliminate fuel. The containment percentage “will be going up incrementally as things progress” over the next few days, Bastion said.

Controlled burns have kept the blaze away from cabins, homes and power lines in the area, which is popular with tourists.

The cause of the fire, which began last Tuesday afternoon, has yet to be determined.

AFP Photo/Jorge Cruz

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