Windy Weekend Leads to Moderate Growth on the Saffron Fire
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Windy conditions on Saturday and Sunday led to moderate growth on the Saffron Fire which is being managed for multiple objectives on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
The Saffron Fire is approximately 400 acres in size and is located at the northern end of the Rainbow Plateau, approximately 2 miles south of the park/forest boundary and 15 miles northwest of the North Rim developed area. It is burning in ponderosa pine forest with white fir understory along-side locust and Gambel oak, in an area that has experienced fire several times in the last 15 years.
This lightning-caused fire was discovered on Saturday, June 26 and is being managed for both protection objectives--preserving multiple cultural sites in the area, and resource objectives-- recycling forest nutrients and maintaining the role of fire in a fire-dependent ecosystem.
Currently, there are approximately seventy personnel from five agencies monitoring and managing the fire. Forest roads 223, 268 and 268B have already been prepared to act as containment lines if the fire should continue its northeastward progression. Future management actions may include backfiring south of forest road 268 if it becomes necessary to aid in the fire’s containment to the north.
Yesterday, the fire progressed across the park’s W4 road also known as the Swamp Ridge Road. In order to protect visitor safety, Swamp Point and the Swamp Ridge Road have been closed until further notice. If the fire should continue its northeastward progression, it may also become necessary to restrict access to Fire Point.
Smoke impacts have been light with the smoke dispersing and rising well during the daytime hours.
North Kaibab Ranger District (US Forest Service) and North Rim (National Park Service) fire managers work together as the North Zone Fire Management Unit. This allows fire managers to share resources and to coordinate fire management activities across the landscape. Cooperating agencies on the Saffron Fire include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the state of Arizona, and the Bureau of Land Management.
Additional news releases about the Saffron Fire will continue to be posted if significant changes in fire size, behavior or management objectives should occur.
If you have questions about the Saffron Fire, please call Grand Canyon Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at 928-638-7958 or North Kaibab Public Affairs Specialist Patrick Lair at
928-643-8172. To learn more about fire management in Grand Canyon National Park, please visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.