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Grand Canyon, Ariz. - North Zone Interagency Fire Managers have completed ignitions on the Range prescribed fire (Rx) unit. Approximately 2,300 acres have been treated. This prescribed fire has helped reduce the build-up of dead and down vegetation on the forest floor, reducing the risk of extreme fire behavior along Highway 67, the North Rim's primary egress route, and protecting and enhancing Mexican spotted owl habitat.
Fire managers plan to begin hand and aerial ignitions on the Thompson Rx unit on Friday, November 2, if environmental conditions are favorable. Approximately 2,000 acres will be treated to help create defensible space along the park boundary with the Kaibab National Forest and protect endangered and threatened species habitat near the boundary. Ignitions are anticipated to occur over a period of four to five days if fire effects and behavior are favorable.
Moderate to heavy smoke impacts to Highway 67 are anticipated throughout the Thompson Rx. Daytime visitors should be prepared for poor visibility as well as possible delays and intermittent closures of the entrance road. Overnight closures of the entrance road are also possible. Drivers are advised to use their headlights, to watch for and obey traffic signs and personnel, and to remain alert to the possibility of fallen trees that have been weakened by fire.
Additional closures of the Arizona Trail are being implemented in association with the Thompson Rx. (The previous closure associated with the Range Rx remains in effect.) Beginning Friday, November 2, at 8:30 a.m., the Arizona Trail will be closed from Forest Road 610 to the Point Sublime (w1) Road. During daylight hours, public safety officers will continue to check the trail closures approximately once per hour and shuttle hikers to the next available access point as necessary.
The Range Road (also known as the w1a road) remainsclosed at this time.
Smoke from the Thompson Rx will be visible along Hwy 67 and Hwy 89A as well as from various locations on both the North and South Rims. During the day, smoke is expected to rise as temperatures warm and settle as temperatures cool in the evening. Smoke is also expected to settle into the canyon at night and may also settle in the North Rim development, House Rock Valley, Marble Canyon and Page areas. Smoke impacts have the potential to be heavy in the inner canyon.
For updates on the Thompson prescribed burn and the status of the road, please visit http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3305/, follow @GrandCanyonNPS on Twitter, or call 928-638-7819 (recorded message). If you would like to receive Twitter Messages (Tweets) as Text Messages, please visit http://www.inciweb.org/incident/article/3304/18249/ to learn how.