Slide Fire pre-evacuation orders are lifted - New York News

Slide Fire grows to 20K acres, pre-evacuation orders are lifted

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Some good news in the fight against the Slide Fire burning in Oak Creek Canyon.

Although the fire has burned 20,328 acres and is 35 percent contained, a pre-evacuation order was lifted for people who live just north of the fire in Kachina Village and Forest Highlands.

Kachina Village and Forest Highlands were right in the wildfire's path, but firefighters have managed to it at bay. They call it having a catcher's mitt around the fire.

Residents who had been warned they may have to pack up and evacuate saw that warning canceled at noon, they are relieved and grateful.

"I just want to thank them for their hard work, I heard there was a fire in Sedona last Tuesday, I did not think it would escalate to this, I want to thank them for keeping Forest Highlands safe there are a lot of good families and good people out here," said Andree Clair.

"Yeah, they have been doing an awesome job keeping the slide fire under control, great job, it's unfortunate that this was human caused, it's just great that these guys are out here risking their lives, being in danger, and doing a great job keeping everything and everyone safe," said Robert Hewat.

Now firefighters a cautiously optimistic, although they are well aware nobody has control over the winds of change.

The fire's official containment figure remains at 35 percent because some areas within the containment line still have active low-intensity fire while others remain hot to the touch.

The number of firefighters and other personnel assigned to the fire is now below 1,100, down from more than 1,200.

Fire management spokeswoman Jan Bardwell says some crews are being reassigned because there's less work to do.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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