Ignitions on the Thompson prescribed fire unit within the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park have been delayed due to unfavorable atmospheric conditions which would likely result in undesirable smoke dispersion.
Fire managers anticipate resuming implementation of the prescribed fire project next week when conditions become more favorable to meet objectives including reducing fuel loading, returning fire to fire-adapted ecosystems, and the protection of sensitive cultural sites. Meanwhile, firefighters will remain onsite and continue to monitor and patrol the Tipover East and North Rim Slopes prescribed fire projects.
“Based upon current conditions, the decision has been made to refrain from continuing ignitions until air quality improves,” said Grand Canyon National Park District Fire Management Officer Dan Pearson. “We continue to work with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Smoke Management Division to ensure we are selecting the optimal environmental conditions under which we may continue to implement prescribed fire projects while minimizing impacts to visitors and the airshed.”
Safety: In the interest of both firefighter and public safety, visitors are reminded to obey all traffic signs and use caution when traveling in the vicinity of a prescribed burn unit as firefighters and fire-related traffic will still be present. Visitors are reminded that this temporary hold on any new firing operations does not mean that conditions within a burn unit have changed.
Smoke Impacts: Smoke will be visible from various locations on the North and South rims, and Arizona
Highways 64, 67 and 89A. Smoke may impact traffic and may also be present in the inner canyon. Motorists are cautioned to please drive slowly with lights on, avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel is working, and follow directions of signs and personnel.