FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – A wildfire burning in a scenic Arizona canyon is expected to nearly triple in size as crews scramble to get the upper hand in less rugged terrain.
Deputy Incident Commander Pruett Small says fire managers have plans to let the flames burn through flatter lands and into a sort of catcher’s mitt to the north and west. That means the fire could grow to nearly 36 square miles.
Friday’s conditions have been too dangerous to allow crews to march up the steep canyon walls. Small says the goals are to protect structures in Oak Creek Canyon, keep the fire from pushing into communities to the east and minimize the potential for flooding.
The human-caused Slide Fire started Tuesday. The cause is under investigation, but officials have ruled out a campfire.