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Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. -- In accordance with Grand Canyon National Park's 2010 Fire Management Program (FMP) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), park fire managers will continue to expand the use of non-fire treatments to reduce hazardous fuels in the park's wildland-urban interface.
The first thinning project, known as the Market Plaza Thinning Project, is expected to be completed by April 4, 2011. Approximately, 375,000 pounds of biomass were removed during this project; and the slash piles that remain will be allowed to cure in preparation for a future pile burning project.
The second project, the High School Thinning Project, is expected to begin as soon as April 5 and will be located near the Grand Canyon School. The High School Thinning Unit is approximately 48 acres in size and is bounded by Boulder Street to the north, Center Road to the east, and Albright Avenue to the south and west. Slash from this thinning project will be handled in three ways. Some slash will be piled, dried and burned; some will be chipped and scattered away from buildings and infrastructure; and the remainder will be removed. The School Thinning Project is expected to take up to 45 days depending on weather conditions.
These thinning projects will help create and maintain defensible space that will aid in the protection of human life, structures and infrastructure by creating a raised and more open tree canopy around the developed areas, as well as a reduction in dead and down fuels, all of which, in the event of a wildfire, will inhibit the spread of fire and the likelihood of extreme fire behavior. Standards for sizes and amounts of fuels to be removed during these projects were derived from the 2000 National Fire Plan, the park's 2010 FMP EIS, 2006 International Wildland-Urban Interface Code, and recommendations and concurrence from the Grand Canyon Inter-Disciplinary Team.
For additional information about this thinning project, please call Grand Canyon's South District Fire Management Officer Arthur Gonzales at 928-638-7947. For more on Grand Canyon National Park's Fire Management Program, please visit the park's web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.