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Feb. 24, 2016 — Forest Service law enforcement and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is seeking any information on a string of suspicious human-caused fires that have occurred over the last two days in Oak Creek Canyon.
On Monday (Feb. 22), from approximately 7:30 to 8 p.m., four fires—named the Briar, Snake, Rock and Switchback fires—were started in Oak Creek Canyon along Highway 89A and grew to only a tenth of an acre before they were reported and fire personnel extinguished them. The Briar fire was located on the west side of the highway, about 1.4 miles north of Midgley Bridge, near Leo Schnur Lane. The Snake fire was about a quarter of a mile south of the Encinoso Picnic Area on the east side of the highway. The Rock fire was just north of Slide Rock State Park and on the east side of Highway 89A. The Switchback fire was located near the southwest corner of the Oak Creek Canyon switchbacks on the east side of the highway.
On Tuesday (Feb. 23), at about 4 p.m. the Halfway fire was reported just south of the Halfway Picnic Area on the east side of the highway. Later that evening at about 5:20 p.m. the Creek fire was reported just below the Halfway Picnic Area on the west side of the highway.
These fires are under investigation, and anyone that may have information regarding the cause of these fires or may have observed anyone suspicious in the area at the time of the fire is encouraged to contact Forest Service Law Enforcement at 928-527-3511 or the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at 928-774-4523. The public may also call the Coconino Silent Witness number at 928-774-6111, and if your information leads to an arrest, you will be offered a reward of up to $1,000.
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Contact(s): Coconino National Forest Media Contact: Brady Smith, 928-527-3490, Coconino County Sheriff's Office Media Contact: Gerry Blair, 928-226-5089