More crews headed to northern Arizona wildfire

By Paul Davenport

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, May 21 2014 9:05 p.m. MDT

Coconino National Forest Battalion Chief Preston Mercer, left, and fire information officer Bill Morse, right, survey a fire burning in Oak Creek Canyon, Ariz., on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Hundreds of firefighters poured into northern Arizona to battle the wind-whipped blaze.

Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press

OAK CREEK CANYON, Ariz. — A wind-whipped wildfire burning in a rugged canyon between Sedona and Flagstaff now is estimated at 850 acres and growing.

Authorities say the so-called Slide Fire could reach up to 2,000 acres by nightfall Wednesday.

It's already forced the evacuation of resorts and campgrounds and sent choking plumes of smoke across the area.

About 200 firefighters and other personnel are assigned to the fire, including five Hotshot crews with an additional 15 crews on order as well as 10 other firefighting crews and dozens of fire engines.

There are no reports so far of injuries or structures burned since the fire began around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The exact cause of the fire isn't yet known, but authorities believe it was human-caused.

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