Fire managers plan to burn piles on the Tusayan and Williams ranger districts of the Kaibab National Forest starting tomorrow and continuing through next week, as conditions allow. 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 a total of about 290 acres of piles in four general project locations beginning tomorrow and continuing through all of next week, if snow pack is appropriate.
- Forest Road 688 pit. Fire managers plan to burn a single, large natural debris pile off of Forest Road 688 east of State Route 64. The pile will likely be ignited tomorrow but will continue smoldering for several days to weeks because of its large size. Smoke impacts are expected to be minimal and highly localized.
- Tusayan Ranger District compound. Fire managers plan to burn scattered piles surrounding the Tusayan Ranger District office of the Kaibab National Forest, which is located just east of State Route 64 and south of the boundary with Grand Canyon National Park. Fire managers will ignite the piles in small groups in order to lessen any potential smoke impacts to the office and residents living in the compound. Smoke impacts are expected to be light and highly localized.
- Flying J project. Piles will be ignited in three small units within the Flying J project area, which is located just west of Grand Canyon Airport. Light smoke impacts to the airport are possible. However, fire managers will be monitoring smoke production and adjusting the number of acres of piles to be ignited at any one time based on observed impacts.
- Russell project. Piles are scheduled to be ignited within the Russell project area, which is located just south of Forest Road 310 and north of Russell Tank. Smoke impacts are expected to be minimal and highly localized.
There are no road or trail closures expected with any of the pile burns planned for the Tusayan Ranger District.
Williams Ranger District
Williams Ranger District fire managers plan to burn about 139 acres of piles starting Monday off of Forest Road 186 just south of Forest Road 108 and west of County Highway 73. Minimal to light smoke impacts are anticipated and should be highly localized based on the small size of the piles.
No road or trail closures are expected with the pile burning planned for the Williams Ranger District.
As winter weather conditions continue on the Kaibab National Forest, fire managers will continue to seek opportunities to burn piles across both the Tusayan and Williams ranger districts. Additional information will be provided as specific prescribed fire locations are scheduled.
The Kaibab National Forest is part of a fire-adapted ecosystem and is dependent on fire to play a natural role in maintaining vibrant forest health. Objectives for these pile burns include reducing fuels resulting from previous forest restoration projects and improving overall forest health and resiliency.
The public can view approved prescribed fires for any given day on the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s website at https://smoke.azdeq.gov/. Prescribed fires on the Kaibab National Forest begin with the forest’s designator “KNF.” To learn more about smoke and public health, visit http://bit.ly/SmokeHealthAwareness.
Notifications of upcoming prescribed fire projects are provided regularly throughout the year. Additional information can also be obtained through the following sources: