Crews plan to begin ignitions on a prescribed burn on the 681 acre Reed Prescribed Fire Project on Wednesday April 19 and intend to continue burning for approximately three days in the area if conditions remain favorable. The burn area is located approximately three miles south of the town of Tusayan.
Smoke may be visible from Highway 64 and in the communities of Valle and Tusayan. Light smoke may linger overnight and in the early morning hours. To minimize smoke impacts, fire managers will limit ignitions to approximately 200 acres per day and will only conduct ignitions when conditions exist that will allow smoke to ventilate away from sensitive areas.
“Because this prescribed fire will be burning immediately adjacent to Highway 64, we suggest that motorists slow down when driving through the area and use extreme caution due to firefighters working along the roadway and potential impacts to visibility.” said Fire Management Officer Quentin Johnson.
Smoke is expected to disperse to the east and northeast during the day. Residual smoke may settle into drainages and low lying areas overnight but will dissipate rapidly throughout the morning hours.
Prescribed fires are essential tools for restoring the forests in a fire-adapted ecosystem, and smoke is an unavoidable byproduct of these efforts. Fire managers strive to minimize smoke impacts to the community as much as possible. Burns occur when winds and other atmospheric conditions will push the majority of smoke away from homes and ultimately limit the number of days smoke is in the air. Fire managers work closely with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, partners in the Grand Canyon National Park, as well as surrounding Native American tribes to monitor air quality.
Notifications of upcoming prescribed burns are provided regularly throughout the season. The public can find this information online or through a recorded hotline. Contact your local Kaibab National Forest office for additional information.