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Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. - The Lower Fire grew to approximately 874 acres on Wednesday as crews were able to take advantage of favorable weather conditions to complete additional management ignitions on National Forest lands to prevent fire spread outside the planning area and to protect sensitive cultural resources. Fire behavior has consisted of low intensity surface fire with occasional individual and group tree torching. The low intensity fire is ideal for meeting management objectives of returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem, improving wildlife habitat, recycling forest nutrients in order to maintain forest health; while protecting sensitive cultural resources within the fire area.
Fire crews are monitoring fire conditions and, weather permitting, will implement additional management ignitions north of Forest Road 307 to meet resource and protection objectives on Thursday. Smoke may be visible in the Park along the Highway 64 corridor at times of increased fire activity, but it is not anticipated to impact travel.
Lower Fire Facts:
Start Date: The lightning-caused Lower Fire was discovered on August 19, 2011.
Acreage: Approximately 874 acres
Location: The fire is located about 12 miles southeast of Grand Canyon Village. It is 1½ miles south of Moran Point and ¾ mile southeast of Desert View Drive (also known as Highway 64), burning within Grand Canyon National Park and the Tusayan District of the Kaibab National Forest.
The public is advised to use caution while travelling in burned areas on National Forest lands as the potential exists for hazards in burned areas such as hidden stump holes, hot ash, and fire weakened trees. Please use caution near the fire.
Fuels: Ponderosa pine and pinyon-juniper
Management Objectives: The Lower Fire is being managed for both resource and protection objectives within both Grand Canyon National Park and the Tusayan District of the Kaibab National Forest.
Resource objectives for the fire include returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem, improving wildlife habitat, and recycling of forest nutrients in order to maintain forest health.
Protection objectives for the fire include protection of sensitive cultural resources, Hull Cabin, and the Arizona Public Service power line corridor.
Resources: There are approximately 77 resources currently assigned to the fire, including six engines, one water tender, two fire modules, and one fire crew.
Arizona Trail: Trail users need to be prepared to detour from the trail near Grandview Lookout due to fire activity. The detour will be at the junction of Forest Road 310 and Forest Road 307. Take Forest Road 307 east for about ½ mile until it reconnects with the trail.
Smoke Impacts: Smoke from these fires may be visible from US Highway 64 as far south as Valle, South Rim viewpoints, the Rim Trail, and some North Rim viewpoints. Coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is ongoing.
Lower Fire Information: 970-596-0430
To follow the progress of the Lower Fire or to view pictures and maps of the fire, please visit the fire's page on InciWeb at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2528/. To learn more about fire management in Grand Canyon National Park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.