Saffron Fire Update, July 16
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The Saffron Fire, burning on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, has seen little growth over the last three days, and is currently mapped at 3,260 acres. Yesterday, the fire became more active on its western flank and in some spots just north of Swamp Ridge Road.
Fire managers continue to monitor the fire’s activity closely while letting it burn naturally within the planned management boundaries (north and east of the canyon rim, south of Forest Roads (FR) 268 and 223, and north of Swamp Ridge Road – the east/west section of the W4 road) in order to maintain fire’s natural role in the ecosystem.
The Saffron Fire was started by lightning on 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.
A Type 4 Team took over the fire this morning at 7:00 a.m.; and the new Incident Commander is Brooks Baker. Currently, there are approximately 50 personnel from five agencies monitoring and managing the fire, including three engines, on crew and one type three helicopter.
Crews will focus on preparation of the Swamp Ridge Road to act as a southern containment line if the fire’s northeast flank should grow in that direction, and on continuing to patrol and monitor the fire’s containment at FR 223 and FR 268.
Access to FR 268 is still being restricted due to fire activity. Swamp Ridge Road and Swamp Point remain closed until further notice. Forest Road 223 is open.
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.
This will be the last news release about the Saffron Fire unless there are significant changes in the fire’s size, behavior or management objectives.
For additional information about the Saffron Fire, please call Grand Canyon National Park 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 http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.
Did You Know?
From Yavapai Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, the drop to the Colorado River below is 4,600 feet (1,400 m). The elevation at river level is 2,450 feet (750 m) above sea level. Without the Colorado River, a perennial river in a desert environment, the Grand Canyon would not exist.