Grand Canyon National Park fire managers—working with resources from Sedona Fire Department, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Rocky Mountain National Park, Zion National Park, and Kaibab National Forest—anticipate initiating a prescribed fire treatment this weekend as weather and fuel moisture conditions allows.
The Long Jim III Prescribed Fire, also called the Long Jim Rx, is adjacent to the developed area on the South Rim, east of South Entrance Road and south of Highway 64 (Desert View Drive) East. Comprised of pinyon, juniper, and ponderosa pine, the treatment unit is 1,933 acres in size. Objectives specific to the Long Jim Rx include improving the defensible space in the wildland/urban interface (WUI) within the South Rim developed area, returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem, and reducing fuel loads.
Smoke from the Long Jim Rx will be most visible during ignition operations and will likely gradually diminish after ignitions are completed. Heavy smoke along Highway 64 East may impact traffic, which may require a pilot car. Please drive slowly, turn your lights on, avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel are working, and follow directions of signs and personnel.
Smoke will also be visible from various locations on the North and South rims, including Grand Canyon Village. Fire managers are working with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality-Smoke Management Division to reduce and mitigate potential smoke impacts.
During the Long Jim Rx, the Arizona Trail will be closed from Vann Drive and Highway 64 to Yaki Point Road. A detour around the fire will take Arizona Trail hikers on the Greenway west of Highway 64 to Grand Canyon Visitor Center (GCVC). At GCVC, the detour will continue east along the Rim Trail to the South Kaibab trailhead.
Prescribed fires play an important role in decreasing risks to life, resources, and property. Fire managers carefully plan prescribed fires, initiating them only under environmental conditions that are favorable to assuring firefighter and visitor safety and to achieving the desired objectives. Prescribed fire objectives include reducing accumulations of hazard fuels, maintaining the natural role of fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, and protection of sensitive natural and cultural resources
Information about the Long Jim Rx can be found on Twitter @GrandCanyonNPS, on the park’s website http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm and on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/