A series of prescribed fire projects will begin today and continue throughout the week at various locations across the Tusayan Ranger District on the Kaibab National Forest. Approximately 3200 acres are scheduled to be ignited at the following specific locations beginning Monday, November 8, and continuing through Friday November 12.
- Reed Rx Project: Upper Ten X Unit, 3 miles east of Tusayan. (241 acres)
- Reed Rx Project: Skinner North Unit, 6 miles northeast of Tusayan (1560 acres)
- Blue Stem Rx Project: Camp 36 Unit, 12 miles southeast of Tusayan (1100 acres)
- Blue Stem Rx Project: Skousen Unit, 18 miles southeast of Tusayan, (300 acres)
A helicopter may be utilized to conduct aerial ignitions on the larger units once operations begin. Burning the units rapidly and earlier in the day provides more time for smoke to lift and ventilate away reducing overnight inversion and long-term impacts to local areas.
Prescribed fire is used fire as a practical means to reduce risks associated with uncharacteristic wildfires that can pose significant threats to public health and safety. On each day, fire managers evaluate local conditions that include weather patterns, temperatures, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, fuel moistures, and smoke ventilation. Daily ignitions will only occur when environmental factors align with the required prescription that will achieve desired results and meet land management objectives.
The Forest Service’s land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health, which includes reducing forest fuels and using prescribed fire on the landscape. A healthy forest is a resilient forest that undergoes fire occurrences on a regular basis. The Kaibab National Forest works with partners, collaborators, and communities to clearly identify objectives and address concerns during the planning process for prescribed fires.
Officials recognize that impacts to air quality may be unpleasant at times, however they can significantly reduce the amount and limit the duration of smoke more effectively using prescribed methods than in an uncontrolled wildfire situation. Additionally, fire managers will actively monitor atmospheric conditions daily and use strategies to minimize smoke impacts to rural developed areas.
During operations, fire personnel and vehicles working in these vicinities may be visible to the public. Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened caution when passing through active project areas.
All prescribed burning on the Kaibab National Forest is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. For additional information about the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burn authorizations, please visit: legacy.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html
Fire information for Kaibab National Forest can be obtained from the following sources: