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Arizona canyon area ready for business 1 year after Slide Fire

PHOENIX — Exactly one year after the Slide Fire scorched 33 square miles near Oak Creek Canyon, business owners in the area hope for a big summer rebound starting this Memorial Day weekend.

“You’d never really notice that we had a fire in here unless you knew what you were looking for, for the most part,” said Frank Garrison of the Butterfly Garden Inn in Sedona.

The fire broke out May 20, 2014 and the canyon was immediately evacuated. Once the fire was out the canyon remained closed to hikers, campers and swimmers because of flood concerns.

“It was nerve wracking when the evacuation happened and we didn’t know what we would come back to. I was grateful and relieved to come back to everything still standing,” Garrison said.

Hundreds of firefighters and firefighting air tankers saved every home and business from burning but businesses suffered because of the closures.

Garrison said the area was recovering nicely, lush and green.

(Facebook Photo)

“It looks amazing,” he said. “… The creek is crystal clear and looks spectacular.”