Fire managers are pleased with the continued steady growth of the Mason Fire despite recent rains across much of the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest. The 430-acre Mason Fire is one of four lightning-caused wildfires being managed on the district as part of the Jar Complex to provide ecological and other resource and community protection benefits in the area.
The Mason Fire will be managed within a predefined 16,100-acre planning area that also includes the Old Fire, which grew to almost five acres in size yesterday. The planning area is located about 7 miles southeast of the Town of Tusayan and 4 miles south of Grandview Lookout Tower.
The other two fires being managed on the Tusayan Ranger District for forest health and other resource-related objectives are the Lost and Shale fires. Each fire is under an acre in size, and neither has shown much activity over the last few days due to consistent rain showers in the area they are located, which is east of Highway 64 several miles south of Tusayan.
Today, fire crews will continue work in preparation for fire growth including lining archaeological sites, trick tanks, range fences and any other potentially fire-sensitive resources within the established boundaries for the fires. While fire crews conduct prep work, a road crew will continue hauling gravel, blading, and making other improvements to heavily-used roads in the fire areas. Motorists using forest roads 301, 301A, 302 and 320 are asked to use caution due to the presence of heavy equipment for the road improvement work and firefighting trucks and personnel.
Smoke from the Mason Fire is becoming more prominent as it continues growing and becoming more active. Due to prevailing winds, smoke will largely be pushed toward the northeast, making it visible from Desert View in Grand Canyon National Park and from Cameron, Ariz. Smoke from the four fires may eventually become more visible from other areas including the Town of Tusayan, Highway 64 and Highway 180.
Additional Jar Complex information, photos and maps are available through the following sources: