Slide Fire update: Residents in 2 communities could be allowed to return home Monday

OAK CREEK CANYON, AZ - “It’s raining on the Slide Fire, that’s news,” a fire official declared at the end of a Saturday media briefing as a light shower fell.

During the briefing, officials said that a pre-evacuation order for Kachina Village and Forest Highlands would be lifted at noon on Monday and residents would be allowed back home.

Up to 1,000 people voluntarily evacuated last Wednesday as the Slide Fire, burning in Oak Creek Canyon, grew.

Evacuations remain in place for Oak Creek Canyon from Slide Rock State Park to Sterling Springs Hatchery.

The Slide Fire, which started around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, remains at 5 percent containment and is now approximately 11,800 acres, officials said Saturday night.

Officials said weather created a smoke inversion over the fire and surrounding areas for most of the day, keeping aircraft from working on the fire until late in the afternoon.

Burnouts by line crews will continue throughout the night along Woody Mountain Road to create a buffer for the approaching main fire.

Firefighters plan on completing burnout operations by Tuesday.

Officials said no serious injuries have been reported and no structures have been lost. Approximately 300 structures, private homes as well as vacation resort cabins and a Forest Service tower remain threatened.

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