Arizona Wildfires

May 23, 2014 12:25 AM by Stefanie Boe, Associated Press

Fire near Sedona now 5% contained

SEDONA - Crews have made progress on the Slide Fire burning near Sedona. The fire is now 5% contained after charring 7,500 acres.

Thursday crews continued to hold the fire west of Highway 89A and south of Fry Canyon.

Overnight Firefighters will be working throughout the lower canyon to monitor fire activity and conduct burnout operations as necessary. Overnight downslope winds will likely continue to drive the fire down canyon. Erratic winds may also be present producing moderate fire behavior.

300 people remain evacuated and 3,200 residents of Forest Highlands and Katina Village remain under pre-evacuation warnings. The fire is about 3 miles away from those residential areas.

Firefighters are also taking extra steps to make sure they don't lose communication with crews in the steep canyons. They brought in "repeaters" that look like 20-foot-tall antennas and placed them on overlooks to maintain radio contact with firefighters below. Radio communication issues were a problem last year in a fire in nearby Prescott that killed 19 firefighters who were part of a Hotshot crew.

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