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Update: Point Fire, July 18

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Date: July 18, 2011
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Drier weather over the weekend led to increased fire activity and moderate growth on the Point Fire, located on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

With the onset of monsoonal weather patterns and the resulting higher humidity and increased fuel moisture, fire managers decided to manage the lightning-caused Point Fire to achieve multiple objectives, including resource and protection objectives. The fire is now estimated at 235 acres in size and continues to exhibit primarily creeping and smoldering behavior in ponderosa pine and occasional small patches of mixed conifer.    

Fire Facts:

Start Date: July 4, 2011

Location: Approximately 10 miles west of the North Rim developed area in the vicinity of Walla Valley and Point Sublime. The North Rim sits at approximately 8,000 feet in elevation.

Size: 235 acres

Management Objectives: The Point Fire is being managed to achieve multiple objectives. Resource objectives for the fire include maintaining fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, reducing hazardous accumulations of forest fuels and recycling of forest nutrients. Protection objectives for the fire include protection of natural and cultural resources.

Closures: Park managers have closed the Point Sublime Road (also known as the w4 road) in order to assure firefighter and visitor safety. The road is closed until further notice from its junction with the w1 road, out to and including Point Sublime.

Smoke impacts: Precipitation is predicted for the next few days and should decrease the amount of smoke produced by the fire.  Smoke from the Point Fire is expected to be visible from US Highway 64 as far south as Valle, South Rim viewpoints, the Rim Trail, US Highway 67, the North Rim entrance station and some North Rim viewpoints. Coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is ongoing.

You can view pictures and maps of the fire and follow its progress on InciWeb at http://inciweb.org/incident/2408/. For more on Grand Canyon’s Fire Management program, please visit us on the web at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.

 -NPS-

Did You Know?

SPRINGS PROVIDE OASES FOR FLORA AND FAUNA

Within the Grand Canyon, the type and abundance of organisms is directly related to the presence or absence of water. The Colorado River and its tributaries, as well as springs, seeps, stock tanks and ephemeral pools provide oases to flora and fauna in this semi-arid southwest desert area.