East Entrance Prescribed Fire Planned in Zion National Park
Contact: David Eaker, 435-772-7811
According to Superintendent Jock Whitworth, Zion National Park plans to start ignition of the 300-acre East Entrance Prescribed Fire (Rx) sometime during the week of April 6, 2009. The exact date of the fire’s ignition will depend on weather conditions and the availability of firefighting resources. This prescribed fire is located near the east entrance of the park, along the park boundary and Highway 9.
The project will begin with a blacklining operation along the park boundary, followed by ignition of the interior of the unit. Once the area is ignited, it will actively burn for 1-2 days and then smolder for another few days. The fire will be closely monitored by park personnel until declared out. The objectives of the East Entrance Rx are to reduce the wildland fire hazard along the park’s eastern boundary thus providing protection for adjacent private property and structures and to provide research opportunities for the restoration of the sagebrush ecosystem in the park.
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. There are no trail closures expected with this prescribed fire.
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. The policy of using fire as a tool will help decrease risks to life, property and resources and 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