Fire Management Staff to Resume Pile Burning at the Grand Canyon
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. - After a week of soaking rains, fire crews on the North and South Rims of Grand Canyon National Park will be burning piles of woody debris over the next thirty days as weather allows.
The piles of woody debris were constructed during manual fuels reduction projects. On the South Rim, these projects were intended to create defensible space in the Park's wildland urban interface; and the piles are located in the vicinity of Market Plaza and the Grand Canyon School. On the North Rim, the fuels reduction projects were conducted in preparation for management of both prescribed fires and managed wildland fires; and the piles are located along the w1 and w4 roads.
The burn piles consist of small diameter tree trunks, small branches, twigs and needles removed during thinning and limbing operations. They will be ignited while the moisture level in the surrounding fuels is high enough to stop fire from creeping away from the piles, and will be monitored by firefighters until they are completely out.
Park visitors may see fire vehicles and personnel in the vicinity when piles are being burned, and may see open flames or smell smoke. Fire managers will strategically ignite the piles in an effort to keep smoke impacts to a minimum. Coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is currently underway.
To learn more about the South Rim pile burning project, please contact South Rim Assistant Fire Management Officer Dan Pearson at 928-635-7934. For information on the North Rim project, please call North Rim Fire Management Operations Supervisor Aaron Fritzer at 928-638-7949. To learn more about the park's fire management program, please visit our web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/fire_info.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.