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More crews headed to northern Arizona wildfire

Oak Creek Canyon, Ariz. (AP) -- A wind-whipped wildfire in a canyon near Sedona now is estimated at 7 square miles and windy conditions have grounded air tankers that were fighting the blaze in northern Arizona.

Hundreds of firefighters poured into Arizona on Wednesday to battle the fire that sent up choking plumes of smoke and scuttled Memorial Day weekend plans in the popular hiking and camping area.

Authorities warned about 3,200 residents between Sedona and Flagstaff that they need to be ready to evacuate if the fire makes another advance Wednesday.

Arizona authorities are fearful that the fire could be a prelude for what could become a devastating wildfire season amid a drought that has left tinder-dry conditions across the state.

The fire broke out at the start of the tourist season and closed the main road between Sedona and Flagstaff.

The fire is burning near Slide Rock State Park, a popular recreation area because of its natural rock water slides.

 
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