KACHINA VILLAGE, Ariz. — Some business owners are worried worry that a
wildfire in Oak Creek Canyon will keep customers away from the premier tourist
area over the important holiday weekend.
“We’re hear,” said Beverly Burton from Native Spirits Jewelry Store. “This is our livelihood. We need their participation and we would love to take care of them.”
Despite a forest official recommending travelers avoid Sedona over the Memorial Day holiday, Burton said the town is still reachable via State Route 179.
“It’s not really affecting our traffic, it’s not affecting the smell in the air,” said Beverly Burton from Native Spirits Jewelry Store. “We still have beautiful hiking, we’ve got guided tours– everything is up and running.”
The human-caused Slide Fire started Tuesday and by Thursday night had burned
more than 11 1/2 square miles in and around the scenic recreation zone between
Sedona and Flagstaff.
Firefighters say weather conditions for the next several days look favorable,
with increased humidity and a chance of rain.
The Sedona Chamber of Commerce has been fielding hundreds of inquiries via
telephone and social media from visitors wondering if they should still visit
during the holiday weekend and about the air quality.
Many Sedona business owners also have taken to social media to remind people
the resort town is open for business, but it hasn’t kept some from changing
KTAR’s Martha Maurer and the Associated Press contributed to this report.