Hundreds of Firefighters Battle Human-Caused Arizona Wildfire

The Slide Fire burns near 89 A south of Flagstaff, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Evacuations of surrounding areas took place late afternoon Tuesday. (Photo: Tom Tingle, AP)
The Slide Fire burns near 89 A south of Flagstaff, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Evacuations of surrounding areas took place late afternoon Tuesday. (Photo: Tom Tingle, AP)

Hundreds of firefighters and other personnel are battling a northern Arizona wildfire, trying to keep it away from communities south of Flagstaff.

The human-caused Slide Fire has burned 7.5 square miles in and around Oak Creek Canyon, a scenic recreation area along a highway between Sedona and Flagstaff.

Fire management team spokesman Dick Fleischman says a primary focus of firefighting efforts Thursday will be to pinch off the fire where it has reached the top of the canyon’s northeast corner to keep it from burning into the Flagstaff area.

Authorities on Wednesday warned about 3,200 residents in two areas south of Flagstaff that they need to be ready to evacuate if the fire makes another advance.

The firefighting operation now totals 500 people.

SOURCE:  The Associated Press

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