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Contact: Mark Brehl, 928-638-7821
Contact: Punky Moore, 928-635-5653
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779
TUSAYAN, Ariz. -- The two fires forming the Ruby Complex have grown to 3,396 acres. The Game Reserve fire, ignited May 29 by lightning on the Grand Canyon National Park, is currently 580 acres and burning nine miles southeast of the Grand Canyon Village. The Ruby fire ignited by lightning on May 25 on the Kaibab National Forest, is currently 2,816 acres and located six miles southeast of Tusayan. Both fires continue to grow towards each other and are expected to merge. Management of the fires was combined on June 13 in a cooperative effort between the Grand Canyon National Park and The Kaibab National Forest.
Grand Canyon National Park and facilities remain open. Smoke may be visible along state Highway 64, US Highway 180 and in some parts of Grand Canyon National Park. To ensure public safety a 4 mile segment of the Arizona Trail from Watson Tank to Grandview trailhead has been closed and rerouted along the southern edge of the fire area. East of Grandview Point smoke may be visible in the Grand Canyon but generally dissipates in the morning. Close coordination continues with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to monitor smoke production.
The Ruby Complex continues to meet management ecological and protection objectives. Operations have ensured protection of wildlife water tanks, the Arizona Trail, the power line along Hwy 64 and several historic and cultural resources. Management objectives are also being achieved to diminish the future risk of large destructive wildfires.
Numerous desired ecological benefits are being achieved as these fires burn across this fire dependent landscape. Burning through the forest understory and accumulations of forest debris the role of fire is being reestablished to reduce hazardous forest fuels and promote forest health. A mosaic of burned and unburned areas helps provide valuable wildlife habitat. Native plant communities will benefit as fire recycles nutrients, reinvigorating grasses and wildflowers.
Expected weather conditions call for cloudy conditions with a chance of moisture which will result in decreased fire activity and smoke production.
For more information, please contact Punky Moore, Fire Information Officer 928-635-5653 or Mark Brehl, Fire Information Officer at (928) 638- 7821. For additional information, photos and maps you can visit Inciweb at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1696.