Rebuilding from the Slide fire: Sen. Flake tours parts of Sedona

With wildfire season fast approaching, parts of Sedona are still recovering from the Slide fire, which ravaged the region almost a year ago.

On Tuesday, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake toured the city and talked to people still rebuilding from the fire.

Businesses are booming and parks are full.

slide Rock State Park was crowded on a Tuesday afternoon; Oak Creek Canyon is back, but in some areas, you can still see the scars.

"We just want to see what we can do to prepare for the future," said Flake.

Flake listened as managers for the Coconino National Forest, the county and local fire department described how they battled the 21,000 acre Slide Fire and how to prevent another one.

"Gotta make sure that the fuel mitigation funds are there so we're able to treat these areas before the catastrophic fires come," said Flake.

With fire season approaching, everyone here is hoping for the best.

"Certainly for the next couple of years, people are still at risk here," said Vic Morfin of the U.S. Forest Service.  "We are not out of the woods yet."

The burn area has come a long way. Vegetation is growing on formerly charred mountainsides and the visitors are coming back in droves.

"I hope he sees a community of people that have really worked together to get through a crisis and move forward and now we are all just thriving," said Nichole Garrison, owner of the Butterfly Garden Inn in Oak Creek. 

Garrison lost business after the human-caused Slide fire. Now she hopes to see more preventive measures.

"Millions of people come to this canyon and I hope that people are respectful and careful and make the right choices when it comes to extinguishing cigarettes and trash."

The Senator hopes to keep this area protected.

"This is a popular area. We want people to continue to come here, knowing that they can show their kids and their grand kids these same areas.  That's the goal.. to make it last for future generations," said Flake.
Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories