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Ruby Fire and Game Reserve Fire now Managed as the Ruby Complex

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Date: June 14, 2009
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779
Contact: Punky Moore, 928-635-5653

TUSAYAN, Ariz. – The Ruby Fire on the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest continues to grow toward the Game Reserve Fire in Grand Canyon National Park. With this progression expected to continue, forest and park managers have agreed it is beneficial to manage both fires under one organization. On Saturday, June 13, the Ruby and Game Reserve fires became the Ruby Complex.

"Both jurisdictions working under one organization managing the complex is the most effective and efficient way to do business," said Dan Oltrogge, Chief of Fire and Aviation at Grand Canyon National Park.

The total size of the complex is 3,056 acres: Ruby is 2,518 acres and Game Reserve is 538 acres. The two fires are being managed to meet protection and resource objectives.

To meet protection objectives on these fires, personnel take measures as necessary to prevent rapid fire spread near cultural resource sites, wildlife water tanks, the Arizona Trail and the power line in the Park on the south side of Hwy 64. The resource objectives managers hope to achieve include returning fire to its natural role in a fire-dependent ecosystem, reducing hazardous fuel accumulation and improving wildlife habitat.

Sunday, there was moderate growth on the fires and no smoke impacts to Grand Canyon National Park or Tusayan. Grand Canyon National Park and all facilities remain open.

The Ruby Fire has reached the Arizona Trail, a popular hiking, biking and horseback riding trail. To provide for public safety, fire managers have closed a 4-mile segment of the trail from Watson tank to Grandview trailhead until further notice.

Smoke from the complex is visible along State Highway 64, US Highway 180 and in some areas of Grand Canyon National Park. There is occasional haze in the eastern part of Grand Canyon and in Tusayan. Generally, the thin layer of smoke dissipates in the early morning. Fire managers work closely with Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to monitor smoke production.

For more information, please contact Punky Moore, Fire Information Officer, 928-635-5653 or visit Inciweb at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1696.

Did You Know?

CCC STRINGS THE INNER-CANYON TELEPHONE LINE

In November of 1934, the Grand Canyon Civilian Conservation Corps began working on a trans-canyon telephone line. Starting at Indian Garden, they progressed downward to the Colorado River. It was necessary to complete this portion of the line first before the onset of extreme summer heat. More...