Fire managers plan to burn piles on the Tusayan and Williams ranger districts of the Kaibab National Forest tomorrow and 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.
Tusayan Ranger District
Tusayan Ranger District fire managers plan to burn piles scattered within a 100-acre area tomorrow and Friday just west of the Town of Tusayan and Grand Canyon Airport. The piles have cured over the last two years and are expected to consume quickly. Winds on Thursday are expected to be from the southwest, which would push any smoke produced toward the northeast. However, fire managers anticipate that any smoke impacts to Tusayan or the airport would be very light. At night, downslope wind is expected to move smoke west away from Tusayan and the airport. On Friday, winds are predicted to be from the northeast, which should push any smoke produced southwest away from developed areas. No smoke impacts are anticipated for Tusayan or the airport Friday. No road or trail closures are expected.
Williams Ranger District
Williams Ranger District fire managers plan to burn piles scattered within a 52-acre area tomorrow and Friday near Kunde Knoll, about 8 miles south of Williams. Smoke is expected to drift to the north and northeast during the day and will be most noticeable in the immediate area surrounding the pile burn during ignitions and for a few hours afterward. Smoke impacts to any developed areas or nearby communities are expected to be light.
Also on Thursday and Friday, Williams fire managers plan to burn the single, large natural debris pile at Three Sisters Cinder Pit, located north of Cataract Lake about two miles northwest of Williams. Smoke is expected to be pushed north and northeast during daytime hours, away from Williams. However, light smoke may be noticeable in the northern portions of Williams during overnight hours.
No road or trail closures are expected with either pile burn on the Williams Ranger District.
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 year. Members of the public can find this information through the following sources: