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Point Fire Update, Friday, July 15

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Date: July 15, 2011
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – A brief lull in monsoonal rain patterns has led to increased growth on the Point Fire, located on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

The fire, located approximately 10 miles due west of the North Rim developed area in the vicinity of Point Sublime and Walla Valley, is approximately 75 acres in size and is burning in ponderosa pine and occasional small patches of mixed conifer. Although small portions of this area have not experienced fire in recent history, the majority of the Walla Valley/Point Sublime area last experienced fire in 2001 during the Tower Fire, and in 2004 during the Grama Fire.

Recent precipitation, higher humidity and increased fuel moisture have significantly decreased fire danger in northern Arizona; and fire managers have decided to manage the lightning-caused Point Fire to achieve multiple objectives, including resource and protection 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.

Due to the fire’s proximity to the Point Sublime Road (also known as the w4 road), park managers have decided to close the road in order assure firefighter and visitor safety. The Point Sublime Road will be closed until further notice from its junction with the w1 road, out to and including Point Sublime.

Smoke from the Point Fire is expected to be visible from the South Rim and may also be visible from US Highway 67 and the North Rim entrance station. Coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is ongoing. 

-NPS-

Did You Know?

GRAND CANYON'S DESERT VIEW WATCHTOWER

Building a structure that provides the widest possible view of the Grand Canyon yet harmonizes with its setting was architect Mary Colter's goal when the Santa Fe Railroad hired her in 1930 to design a gift shop and rest area at Desert View Point. The Watchtower opened in May of 1933. More...