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Saffron Fire Update, July 12

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Date: July 12, 2010
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The Saffron Fire on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park remains at 3,072 acres as fire spread was minimal due to higher humidity, cloud cover and moisture received on the fire.

Fire managers continue to allow the fire to burn naturally within the its planned management boundaries (north and east of the canyon rim and south of FR 268) in order to maintain fire’s natural role in the ecosystem, but are suppressing a portion of the fire on its eastern flank. Heavy fuel accumulations on the eastern side of the fire were the deciding factor in these suppression efforts.

The Saffron Fire started June 25, 2010 at the northern end of Rainbow Plateau, approximately 2 miles south of the park/forest boundary and 15 miles northwest of the North Rim developed area and is burning in both Grand Canyon National Park and Kaibab National Forest. It is burning in ponderosa pine with white fir understory along-side locust and Gambel oak, in an area that has experienced fire several times in the last 15 years. 

Crews put in hand line yesterday on the eastern flank of the fire south of the W-4 Road and will continue to improve and mop up that side of the fire today.  Crews will continue prep work on a portion of the W-4 road that runs north and south just east of the fire.

Fire managers have successfully burned 495 acres in burnout operations south of Forest Road (FR) 268 to aid in the fire’s containment to the north. Fire crews will patrol and monitor this area. These burnout operations create an area void of fuels to act as a barrier to the fire’s northward progress. 

Access to FR 268 is still being restricted due to fire activity. Swamp Point and the Swamp Ridge Road (W-4 Road) remain closed until further notice. Forest Road 223 will re-open today.

Currently, there are approximately 124 personnel from five agencies monitoring and managing the fire, including four crews, five engines and one type three helicopter.

North Rim (National Park Service) and North Kaibab Ranger District (US Forest Service) fire manager’s 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 Bureau of Indian Affairs, State of Arizona, and Bureau of Land Management.

Additional news releases about the Saffron Fire will continue to be posted as significant changes in fire size, behavior or management objectives occur.

If you have questions about the Saffron Fire, please call Jan Bardwell, Public Information Office at 938-638-7066, Eric Neitzel, Public Information Officer, 928-251-0006, or Grand Canyon National Park Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at 928-638-7958.  To learn more about fire management in Grand Canyon National Park, please visit the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

SUMMER HEAT MAY RESTRICT TRAIL ACCESS

During the summer months temperatures within the Grand Canyon are extremely high. Plan your day so you are not hiking between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Take a break near shade and water to avoid the worst heat of day. Enjoy a predawn start and a late afternoon finish. More...