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Fire Update: Grand Canyon National Park, August 19, 2009

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Date: August 19, 2009
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. -- The Aspen Fire, located on the Walhalla Plateau east of the North Rim developed area in Grand Canyon National Park, continues to be managed for resource benefits. 

Fire Activity

The Aspen Fire is currently burning along the west rim of the Walhalla Plateau and has now reached 3,835 acres in size. On its southern flank, it continues to back slowly into ponderosa pine stands that have experienced fire within the past 3 to 5 years. The fire is currently most visible from the Roaring Springs and Bright Angel Overlooks on the North Rim.

The natural resource benefits that fire managers expect to achieve with this fire include:  maintaining fire in a fire-dependent ecosystem, clearing out dead and down vegetation on the forest floor, recycling nutrients that rejuvenate the soil for new plant growth, creating a mosaic of wildlife habitats and reducing the spread and intensity of future wildfires.

Three additional fires are being monitored in the park at this time:

·        The Angel Fire has been contained and continues to be monitored.

·        The Poplar Fire has been inactive since early August.

·        The Thompson Fire has been contained and continues to be monitored.

Roads and Restrictions

·        Fire activity may be visible along portions of the Cape Royal Road. Visitors should not stop or pull over in these areas and are asked to use caution while driving to ensure the safety of firefighters and equipment working near the road.

·        All roads and facilities in the park are open at this time. 

·        Some backcountry restrictions may apply on the Walhalla Plateau as firefighters continue to manage the Aspen Fire. Check in at the North Rim Backcountry Office for the most current information.

Additional fire information is available from Bill Kight, Aspen Fire Information Officer at 928-638-7066 or visit the fire’s Inciweb page at: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1782/.

For information about the Grand Canyon National Park fire management program, please visit the park’s web site at: http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.

For backcountry information in the park, please call the Backcountry Office at 928-638-7875.

Additional news releases will be posted as significant changes in size, fire activity or management objectives occur.


Did You Know?


There are different river trip opportunities through Grand Canyon National Park, including professionally guided raft trips, available to the public and often reserved a year or two in advance; and self-guided, or "private" river trips, made available to the public through a weighted lottery. More...