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Update: North Rim Fires, September 2, 2011

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Date: September 2, 2011
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. - Warmer, drier conditions have led to increased activity within the interior of the lightning-ignited Point Fire which is now approximately 3,600 acres. It is located 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. One fire module and one engine continue to monitor the fire. The fire is creeping and smoldering in ponderosa pine and occasional small patches of mixed conifer and areas of grass and sage. The Point Fire continues to be managed for 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 sensitive cultural resources and critical wildlife habitat areas.

The lightning-ignited Woolsey Fire is now approximately 40 acres. It was discovered on August 27, near Point Imperial. The majority of fire activity is currently below the Rim of the Grand Canyon, burning in mixed conifer. Firefighters are monitoring the fire's growth. The Woolsey Fire is being managed for 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 sensitive cultural resources and critical wildlife habitat areas.

The lightning-ignited Bright Fire was discovered September 1, west of the Saddle Mountain Trailhead on the south side of the FS 610 Road; approximately 8 miles northeast of the North Rim developed area. It is approximately 10 acres. The fire is burning in dead and down logs, pine, spruce, and fir. The fire is burning through the dead and down logs, and occasional isolated and group tree torching in the understory has been observed. The Bright Fire is being suppressed. Protection objectives for the Bright Fire include perimeter control and protection of sensitive cultural resources and critical wildlife habitat areas. Three crews, 3 engines, and 1 medium helicopter will be assigned to the fire.

Smoke from these fires is 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.

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

You can follow the progress of these fires as well as view maps and pictures on InciWeb at http://www.inciweb.org. 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.