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As Slate and Cornville fires wind down, firefighters take on new fire near Strawberry
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As Slate and Cornville fires wind down, firefighters take on new fire near Strawberry

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Watching The Fire

Superintendent David Borero, left, and firefighter Nick Brasher, right, both with the Del Rosa Hotshots from San Bernardino, California, watch active pockets of the Slate Fire on Friday, June 11.

As activity on the Slate Fire north of Flagstaff and the Cornville Fire south of Sedona appears to be winding down, firefighters responded to a new blaze even farther south Thursday morning.

That fire, which fire managers believed was about 150 acres, was burning about 12 miles west of Strawberry near the old Child’s power plant off a landscape feature named Ike’s Backbone.

The fire was first spotted at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday evening and forced several campers in the area to evacuate. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, containment increased on both the Slate and Cornville fires.

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The Cornville Fire that began midday Sunday and initially forced some evacuations is at 92% containment. Its size is estimated at about 1,200 acres and there are two fire engines and about 15 personnel on the scene monitoring what is left of the blaze.

The Slate Fire remains somewhat more active, although in recent days its growth has largely stalled in the face of firefighters' efforts on the ground.

That blaze, which began last week near the summit of Slate Mountain, is now 53% contained. Most of that containment is to the west while firefighters continue to monitor fire lines and extinguish potential spot fires to the east.

Fire managers believe it is about 11,400 acres. About 177 personnel are still working the fire and large sections of the Coconino National Forest near the Slate Fire remain closed to the public.

The heat wave gripping most of the west has set more records.Places like California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah are under excessive heat warnings and advisories. The high temperatures are creating dangerous conditions. One is a higher risk of wildfires.A fast-moving fire in Reno, Nevada forced people out of their homes yesterday.The evacuation orders were eventually lifted but crews were battling dry conditions in 90-degree temperatures.

Adrian Skabelund can be reached by phone at (928) 556-2261, by email at askabelund@azdailysun.com or on Twitter at @AdrianSkabelund. 

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