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Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. - Fire crews were able to complete management ignitions on National Forest lands within the Lower Fire planning area on Thursday. As a result of yesterday's activities, the fire grew to 1,787 acres. Weather moving into the area from the south brought an increase in relative humidity in the afternoon. The afternoon weather pattern also impacted smoke dispersal, resulting in some reduced visibility.
On Friday, fire crews will patrol the fire perimeter. No additional management ignitions are planned at this time. Unless significant changes occur, management of the Lower Fire will transition back to the local units on Saturday. Firefighter and public safety remain the highest priority for this and every fire. To provide for safety, fire crews will be mitigating the potential risk from hazardous trees in the coming days. The public is advised to be cautious of standing dead trees when traveling on National Forest lands near the burn area, and be aware that downed trees and branches may continue to burn for several days.
The Lower Fire has played a positive role in maintaining and restoring the natural range of variability of the ecological community within the planning area. Additionally, crews have been proactive in protecting cultural resources and wildlife activity areas during the management of the Lower Fire.
With a predicted increase in moisture over the next few days, fire activity is expected to moderate. Fuels are expected to continue to burn until repeated rain or snow extinguishes all flames. Light smoke may remain visible in and around the Canyon over the next several weeks.
Additional updates will only be distributed if significant changes in fire status occur.
Start Date: The lightning-caused Lower Fire was discovered on August 19, 2011.
Acreage: Approximately 1,787 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.
Fuels: Ponderosa pine and pinyon-juniper
Management Objectives: The Lower Fire is being managed for both resource and protection objectives including returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem, improving wildlife habitat, recycling of forest nutrients in order to maintain forest health, and 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.
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.