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Grand Canyon Fire Managers to Initiate Prescribed Burn on South Rim

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Date: June 23, 2009
Contact: Maureen, 928-638-7779
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, AZ. – Grand Canyon National Park expects to implement the Moqui prescribed fire project within the next 48 hours. Based on current and predicted environmental conditions, fire managers have determined that conditions are suitable to obtain desired resource objectives.

Prescribed fires are used by fire managers as a tool to achieve defined resource objectives and to reduce dangerous accumulations of fuels which increase the potential for wildland fire hazards. The resource objectives of this prescribed fire are to use fire to decrease risks to life, property and resources by reducing accumulations of forest fuels, and to maintain fire in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

The portion of the Moqui burn unit that is to be treated is 250 acres in size and starts at the south boundary of Grand Canyon National Park in the immediate vicinity of the South Entrance Station. It then runs north along the west side of Hwy 64 for approximately 2 miles. The Moqui burn unit is bordered on the west by the Kaibab National Forest boundary and on the north by the Quarry burn unit. This burn unit contains ponderosa pine and pinyon/juniper stands as well as grass and brush. The Moqui unit last burned in 1996.

The Moqui unit is the final of three units that fire managers intended to treat this spring. The Picnic and Quarry units were treated in May 2009, but unseasonable precipitation kept fire managers from implementing the Moqui unit.

The Arizona Trail runs through portions of this burn unit. During the prescribed fire, the portion of the trail that crosses the unit will be closed. Signs will be posted on the trail where it enters the burn units advising trail users of the fire activity and providing alternate routes.

During these prescribed fires, smoke impacts are likely to occur on Hwy 64 between the park entrance and Grand Canyon Village. Fire activity, including personnel and equipment may also be visible along this road. Signs will be posted advising visitors and motorists of possible smoke impacts.

Coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality; Kaibab National Forest, Tusayan District; and Arizona Public Service is already occurring.

For information on plans for South Rim prescribed fires, please call 928-638-7958 or 928-638-7779. To learn more about fire management in Grand Canyon National Park, visit the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm

-NPS-

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