Shale fire near Flagstaff, Coconino Forest charred more than 10,600 acres

A week after the shale fire first started along US Route 180 near Flagstaff, the fire consumed 10,677 acres and was 23% contained, according to a Coconino National Forest news release.

The fire grew by 4,090 acres between Saturday and Monday. According to the press release, wind, active forest fires and burnout operations are responsible for the rapid growth of the fire.

At the weekend, orders were made to close parts of the Coconino National Forest for safety reasons.

Fire operations on Monday include securing existing fire lines and monitoring fire pits that could move south while crews secure the Cedar Ranch community, as well as removing dead trees along U.S. Route 180, according to the press release.

According to officials at the Coconino National Forest, surveys are also being conducted on the area’s heritage and cultural sites.

The Slate Fire, located 23 miles northwest of Flagstaff on Highway 180, has consumed more than 10,600 acres since June 7th.

Several resorts including Red Mountain, Slate Mountain Trailheads, Kendrick Cabin, and part of the Arizona Trail from Kelly Tank to Cedar Ranch are closed.

US Route 180 reopened Monday evening between mile posts 238 and 245, with the speed reduced to 35 mph, according to an update from the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The fire began on June 7th and was reported by a deputy of the Coconino County Sheriff. Its cause is still being investigated.

According to the notice, visitors to Grand Canyon National Park should use Highway 64 from Williams to get to the park entrance.

Reach current reporter Amaris Encinas at [email protected] or on Twitter @amarisencinas.

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