Arizona wildfire grows to 11 1/2 square miles as crews work to keep it away from Flagstaff

The Associated Press

The Slide Fire burns near 89 A south of Flagstaff, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Evacuations of surrounding areas took place late afternoon Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle)

Associated Press + More

By BRIAN SKOLOFF and FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press

KACHINA VILLAGE, Ariz. (AP) — A wind-whipped wildfire in a scenic northern Arizona canyon has grown to more than 11 1/2 square miles, but authorities say firefighters are starting to get the upper hand.

Hundreds of firefighters worked Thursday to protect communities on the edge of Flagstaff from the human-caused Slide Fire.

It started Tuesday 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 are no reports so far of injuries or structures burned.

Fire incident commander Tony Sciacca says some containment is expected by Friday morning.

However, some 3,200 residents of Forest Highlands and Katina Village remain under pre-evacuation warnings.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.