Visitors urged to continue to use caution
Sedona, Ariz. – This summer, Coconino National Forest managers, along with the City of Sedona, Sedona Fire District, Coconino and Yavapai Counties and State partners, have worked diligently to assess and mitigate hazards caused by the Slide Fire in Oak Creek Canyon. On Wednesday, October 1, most of the National Forest in Oak Creek Canyon will reopen.
The only areas which will continue to be closed in Oak Creek Canyon include Cave Springs Campground (closed for the season), A.B. Young Trail and also a section of land between Slide Rock State Park and Halfway Picnic area.
While the monsoon season has passed, there continues to be potential for occasional storms and the threat of severe flash flooding is still present within the canyon and surrounding areas. In addition, falling trees and rocks are possible even without rain. As such, visitors are asked to remain vigilant when recreating within the canyon.
“Returning visitors will likely be relieved to see that their favorite spots aren’t completely blackened and desolate, but it’s important to remember that these areas aren’t completely risk-free,” says Nicole Branton, Red Rock District ranger. “We’ve mitigated many of the imminent hazards caused by the fire, but the canyon is no longer in the condition it was before.”
Each visitor is responsible for his/her own safety. The public is urged to be mindful of their surroundings, keep an eye on the weather, err on the side of caution and make smart decisions while visiting the forest.
Oak Creek Canyon visitors and residents are reminded to sign up to receive Coconino County CodeRED emergency alert notifications to their home, cellphone or via email. Visit http://www.coconino.az.gov/emergency to register. For additional information on the Slide flood preparations, visit http://www.coconino.az.gov/slidefloodinformation.
Forest managers will continue to work closely with partners to monitor conditions and may need to temporarily close portions of the area for public safety. For updates, visit http://www.coconinonationalforest.us or contact the Red Rock Ranger District at 928-203-7500.