Fire managers plan to burn piles on each of the three ranger districts of the Kaibab National Forest starting tomorrow and continuing through Friday. The piles are the result of forest restoration efforts, and the goal of burning them is to further reduce fuels that could feed high-intensity wildfire.
North Kaibab Ranger District
North Zone fire managers plan to burn piles scattered within a 100-acre area between Tuesday and Friday just north of Jacob Lake. The piles are small and should consume quickly. Fire managers plan to ignite piles within 25-acre areas each day of the four days scheduled for burning. No significant smoke impacts are anticipated, as prevailing winds should push smoke north/northeast away from Highway 89A. No road or trail closures are expected. However, visitors should use caution and be aware of emergency vehicles in the area.
Tusayan Ranger District
Tusayan Ranger District fire managers plan to burn piles scattered within a 15-acre area Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday about a mile northwest of Grand Canyon Airport. The small piles have cured over the last two years and are expected to consume quickly. Fire managers plan to ignite piles within 5-acre areas early on each of the three mornings to allow plenty of time for good consumption and smoke dissipation during the day. They anticipate little to no smoke impacts to the Town of Tusayan, Grand Canyon Airport and Highway 64. No road or trail closures are expected.
Williams Ranger District
Williams Ranger District fire managers plan to burn piles scattered within a 37-acre area on one day between Tuesday and Friday near Cougar Park, which is about 5 miles south of Williams and just north of Coleman Knoll. Fire managers are monitoring weather conditions to determine which day will be most appropriate for completing ignitions on these piles. Some smoke may settle into the area immediately surrounding the pile burn in Cougar Park and Barney Flat. It may also be visible from County Road 73. No road or trail closures are expected.
Implementation of any particular prescribed fire, including a pile burn, is dependent on weather and fuel conditions including winds, temperature, humidity, moisture of the vegetation and ventilation conditions for dispersal of smoke. All prescribed fires are subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. For additional information on the Smoke Management Division and to view prescribed burn authorizations for any given day, visit http://www.azdeq.gov/programs/air-quality-programs/smoke-management.
In the interest of safety, visitors are always reminded to use caution when traveling in the vicinity of prescribed fires, as firefighters, fire-related traffic and smoke may all be present.
Notifications of upcoming prescribed fires are provided regularly throughout the season. Members of the public can find this information through the following sources: