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Oak Creek Canyon businesses worry about closures

SEDONA, Ariz. -- Northern Arizona business owners are hoping to still attract summer visitors despite the impending closure of tens of thousands of acres of national forest.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports that the U.S. Forest Service announced this week that all public recreation areas and national forest lands in Oak Creek Canyon, north of Sedona, will close July 7.

The National Weather Service office in Flagstaff says that is when monsoon season is expected to begin with rain falling across northern Arizona.

Last month's 31-square-mile Slide Fire has made areas around Oak Creek Canyon high-risk flood zones.

Forest officials say the measures are needed to protect people from any severe flooding.

Hotel and restaurant operators say they are hoping to do business despite some customers already cancelling plans.

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