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Aspen Fire Update, Grand Canyon National Park: August 23, 2009

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Date: August 23, 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, received precipitation on Saturday, August 22, reducing visible smoke and fire activity.  

Fire Activity

Now estimated at 4,207 acres, the fire is burning on the plateau’s west rim and continues to back slowly into ponderosa pine stands on its southern flank. Smoke from the fire has been most visible from the Roaring Springs and Bright Angel Overlooks on the North Rim.

According to the weather forecast, precipitation is possible today and over the next few days.  Based on the forecast and the reduced fire activity, some fire personnel are being released today.

Management Objectives

Since it was discovered on July 29, the lightning-caused Aspen fire has been managed to benefit the park’s natural resources while maximizing access to Cape Royal. The natural resource benefits that fire managers expect to achieve with this fire include: maintaining fire in a fire-dependent ecosystem, 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.

Roads and Restrictions

·        All road and facilities in the park are open.

·        Backcountry restrictions may apply on the Walhalla Plateau. Check with the North Rim Backcountry Office for the most current information.

For additional information about fires in Grand Canyon National Park, please call Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at 928-638-7958. For information about Grand Canyon National Park’s fire management program, visit the park’s web site at:

Additional news releases on the Aspen Fire will only be posted if significant changes in fire activity or management objectives occur.


To download a copy of this news release in .pdf format, CLICK HERE.

Did You Know?


Within the Grand Canyon, the type and abundance of organisms is directly related to the presence or absence of water. The Colorado River and its tributaries, as well as springs, seeps, stock tanks and ephemeral pools provide oases to flora and fauna in this semi-arid southwest desert area.