May 22, 2014 6:54 PM by Associated Press
KACHINA VILLAGE, Ariz. (AP) - Hundreds of firefighters are working to protect communities on the edge of Flagstaff, Arizona, from a wildfire that is chewing up a scenic canyon with towering flames.
The Slide Fire started Tuesday and is believed to be human-caused. It's burned 7.5 square miles in and around Oak Creek Canyon, a scenic recreation area along a highway between Sedona and Flagstaff that normally would be teeming with tourists as the Memorial Day weekend approaches.
There have been no reports so far of injuries or structures burned.
Fire officials say the blaze is about 3 miles away from the residential areas of Forest Highlands and Kachina Village, where 3,200 residents remain under pre-evacuation warnings. With smoke billowing over homes, many residents have already cleared out.
Containment is zero, but firefighters are pleased that the blaze only grew a couple hundred acres overnight after increasing in size tenfold yesterday.
The weather may help, with weaker wind, slightly higher humidity and a chance of rain by Friday.