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Saffron Fire Update

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Date: July 7, 2010
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. –The Saffron Fire continues to be managed for multiple objectives on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

The fire is 1240 acres in size and is located at the northern end of the Rainbow Plateau, approximately 2 miles south of the park/forest boundary and 15 miles northwest of the North Rim developed area. It is burning in ponderosa pine forest with white fir understory along-side locust and Gambel oak, in an area that has experienced fire several times in the last 15 years. 

This lightning-caused fire was discovered on Saturday, June 26 and is being managed for both protection objectives--preserving multiple cultural sites in the area, and resource objectives-- recycling forest nutrients and maintaining the role of fire in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

Currently, there are approximately ninety nine personnel from five agencies monitoring and managing the fire. Forest roads 223, 268 and 268B have already been prepared to act as containment lines if the fire should continue its northeastward progression. Burnout operations (creating an area devoid of fuels to act as a barrier to the fire’s progress) south of forest road 268 are planned to aid in the fire’s containment to the north.

Swamp Point and the Swamp Ridge Road have been closed until further notice. If the fire should continue its northeastward progression, it may also become necessary to restrict access to Fire Point.

Smoke impacts have been light with the smoke dispersing and rising well during the daytime hours. An inversion layer of smoke may occur during the nighttime and early morning hours.

North Rim (National Park Service) and North Kaibab Ranger District (US Forest Service) fire managers 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 the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the State of Arizona, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Additional news releases about the Saffron Fire will continue to be posted as significant changes in fire size, behavior or management objectives occur.

If you have questions about the Saffron Fire, please call Saffron Fire Information Officer Jan Bardwell at 928-638-7066, Grand Canyon National Park Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at 928-638-7958 or North Kaibab Ranger District 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 www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.

-NPS-

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