Update: Lower Fire, September 1, 2011
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. - The Lower Fire is approximately 32 acres. Yesterday the fire crossed the park/forest boundary and is now burning within Grand Canyon National Park and the Tusayan District of the Kaibab National Forest. It is smoldering and creeping along the forest floor, and burning some heavier fuels like downed logs.
Firefighters are monitoring the fire's growth. Fire activity is expected in increase gradually over the next few days with the return of warmer, drier conditions. Park managers continue to survey and assess cultural, historical, and heritage resources in the area. Firefighters are creating defensible space around cultural sites to help protect them.
There are approximately 45 resources currently assigned to the fire, including three engines, one fire module, and one hotshot crew. Park visitors are advised to slow down, turn your lights on, and watch for firefighters working along Hwy 64 between Grandview Point and the Tusayan Museum.
Lower Fire Facts:
Start Date: The lightning-caused Lower Fire was discovered on August 19, 2011.
Acreage: Approximately 32 acres
Location: The fire is located about 12 miles southeast of Grand Canyon Village in the vicinity of Moran Point. It is 1½ miles south of Moran Point and ¾ mile southeast of Desert View Drive (also known as Highway 64).
Fuels: Ponderosa pine and pinyon-juniper
Management Objectives: The Lower Fire is being managed for both resource and protection objectives within both Grand Canyon National Park and the Tusayan District of the Kaibab National Forest.
· Resource objectives for the fire include returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem and recycling of forest nutrients in order to maintain forest health.
· Protection objectives for the fire include protection of sensitive cultural resources, Hull Cabin, and the Arizona Public Service power line corridor.
By working together to manage the Lower Fire rather than focusing on jurisdictional boundaries, NPS and USFS fire managers have a greater opportunity to manage fire across the landscape in order to meet forest health objectives.
Closures: There are no closures associated with the Lower Fire at this time.
Smoke Impacts: Smoke from the fire may be visible from Desert View Drive in the vicinity of Moran Point. Coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is ongoing.
To follow the progress of the Lower Fire or to view pictures and maps of the fire, please visit the fire's page on InciWeb at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2528/. To learn more about fire management in Grand Canyon National Park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.