Wildfire in northern Arizona forces evacuations

OAK CREEK CANYON, Ariz. (AP) — A wildfire near Slide Rock State Park in northern Arizona's Oak Creek Canyon has forced the evacuations of some businesses and homes in a two-mile stretch north of the area.

U.S. Forest Service officials estimate the so-called Slide Fire has at 20 acres, but it appears much bigger with large plumes of smoke visible.

The fire was reported about 4 p.m. Tuesday. Its cause isn't immediately known.

Evacuations have been ordered at West Fork, Pine Flat, Halfway, Cave Springs and other campgrounds and day use areas in the upper canyon. Some inns, resorts and other businesses also have been ordered to evacuate by Coconino County authorities.

Two Hotshot crews, four engines, two helicopters and Sedona firefighters are battling the fire.

Arizona officials are worried that the 2014 wildfire season could devastating amid a drought that has left the state with dangerously dry conditions.

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