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Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928638-7958
Grand Canyon, AZ. -- Grand Canyon National Park fire officials are planning to conduct a prescribed fire on the South Rim within the next two weeks if weather and forest conditions permit. The burn will include three adjoining burn units located south of Highway 64 near Grandview Point about nine miles southeast of Grand Canyon Village. Approximately 550 acres will be treated. Aerial ignition will be used, and it is anticipated that the three units may burn in one day. Smoke is projected to disperse to the northeast and will likely settle into the canyon at night, beginning to lift out with daytime heating by late morning.
Portions of these burn units and the surrounding areas burned previously this year during the Ruby Fire on the Kaibab National Forest (to the west and south) and the Game Reserve Fire within Grand Canyon National Park (to the north and east). The Watson 1 burn unit includes 235 unburned acres within the 365 acre unit. The Hance burn unit includes 272 unburned acres within the 342 acre unit. The Watson 1 and Hance burn units last burned in 2007. The Hearst Tank burn unit includes 44 unburned acres within the 933 acre unit. This will be the first prescribed burn within the Hearst Tank burn unit. All three burn units contain ponderosa pine and pinyon/juniper stands as well as grass and brush.
Prior to prescribed burning, Grand Canyon National Park fire managers will evaluate weather and fuel conditions and will coordinate with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Fire ignition will only occur when environmental factors such as wind, temperature, and relative humidity are favorable. If conditions do not meet predetermined standards, the burn will be postponed until conditions are appropriate.
Prescribed burns play an important role in decreasing risks to life, property and resources by reducing accumulations of forest fuels and maintaining the natural role of fire in a fire-dependent ecosystem.
Minor traffic delays are possible in the vicinity of this planned fire. When necessary, public safety personnel will direct traffic in these areas.
For information on plans for South Rim prescribed fires, please call 928-638-7958. To learn more about fire management in Grand Canyon National Park, visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.
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