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Contact: David Eaker, 453-772-7811
Zion National Park plans to start ignition of the remaining 240 acres of the East Entrance Prescribed Fire during the period of April 16 - 20, 2010. The exact date of ignition will depend upon favorable weather conditions and the availability of adequate firefighting resources. This prescribed fire is located near the east entrance of the park, along the park boundary and Highway 9.
The project began last spring with the treatment of 40 of the 300 total acres in the planned burn. This spring’s plan is to ignite small areas within the larger burn unit as conditions allow. Once ignited, the project will take 2-3 days to complete. The objectives of the East Entrance Prescribed Fire are to reduce the wildland fire hazard along the park’s eastern boundary thus providing protection for adjacent private property and structures and restore fire to its natural role in the ecosystem.
Short-term impacts will be possible smoky conditions in the burn area and temporary road closures or the use of pilot cars if the smoke obscures visibility. Forecasted weather conditions should provide good smoke dispersal, but there is potential for it to settle into the canyons during the night. The East Rim Trail is expected to remain open during the burn.
The goal of the prescribed fire program in Zion is to use management-ignited prescribed fire, where appropriate, for the restoration of fire-dependent ecosystems and species-specific resource management goals and to help protect both park and private structures and property from wildfire. The park works very closely with other state and federal land management agencies in the planning and management of these fires. National Park Service policy of using fire as a tool will help decrease risks to life, property and resources. Additionally, it will help perpetuate the natural resource values for which Zion National Park was established.
For more information about this or other prescribed fire projects in Zion, call 435-772-3256 or visit our website at http://www.nps.gov/zion/naturescience/fire-management-homepage.htm