Slide Fire fully contained; cost reaches $10.1 million - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE

Slide Fire fully contained; cost reaches $10.1 million

The Slide Fire as seen from Flagstaff by CBS 5 News viewer Calvin Johnson. (Source: Calvin Johnson of Leupp) The Slide Fire as seen from Flagstaff by CBS 5 News viewer Calvin Johnson. (Source: Calvin Johnson of Leupp)
Flames came dangerously close to homes. Flames came dangerously close to homes.
Here's the same home after the fire skipped by it. Here's the same home after the fire skipped by it.
(Source: Slide Fire Facebook page) (Source: Slide Fire Facebook page)
(Source: Slide Fire Facebook page) (Source: Slide Fire Facebook page)
OAK CREEK, AZ (CBS5) -

Sixteen days after it began, the Slide Fire, Arizona's second major wildlands fire of the season, has been fully contained.

The human-caused fire, which started May 20 around 4 p.m. in Oak Creek Canyon just north of Slide Rock State Park, blackened 21,227 acres by Wednesday.

It cost $10.1 million to battle the blaze.

Slide Rock State Park reopened on Sunday. Normal hours from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. have resumed, with last park entry at 6 p.m. But due to the recent fire north of the park, the swim area will remain closed.

Residents began returning late last week. An evacuation order for the canyon was lifted at 1 p.m. May 29.

Shortly before the reopening, a half-dozen cars lined up waiting to re-enter.

"Since last Tuesday we've camped, we've driven 300 miles to stay somewhere with relatives. We came back here and spent the night in hotels," said Josh Hall, one of the renters allowed back into the area. 

"I'm very clear on my feelings right now. In fact, it's high anxiety," he continued.

"I just feel so blessed that our home is still standing and our hotel guests have a place to come back to," said Butterfly Garden Inn owner Nicole Garrison. 

A line of speakers took to the podium at Red Rock High School on May 28. They told the audience that although the largest fire in the history of Coconino Forest is behind them, there is still a lot of work to do, especially in regards to preparing for the monsoon.

"If you don't have flood insurance, you need to get it now. If you have any friends in the former Shultz Fire and the very soon after flood area, they can tell you how important this is," said Coconino County Emergency Management spokesperson Robert Rowley. 

Now it's all about moving forward, especially for the business owners.   

"We're booked fully for the next several weeks, so we need to access where it is and how we can proceed so we can get our guests back as soon as possible," said Garrison. 

U.S. Highway 89A from Pine Flats campground north to the entrance of the overlook at the switchbacks remains closed. The "overlook" is now open to the public.

The Coconino National Forest issued an emergency closure on all National Forest System lands within the area of the Slide Fire on the Coconino National Forest, in Coconino and Yavapai counties.

[SLIDESHOW: Slide Fire burns in Oak Creek Canyon]

Law enforcement authorities are asking residents to contact them if they happened to spot anyone suspicious in the area on the day the fire started between Slide Rock State Park and Half Way Picnic Area.

The public is asked to call U.S. Forest Service law enforcement at 928-527-3511 if they have any information that might assist law enforcement in the investigation.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

[Click here to sign up for breaking news alerts]

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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