Earlier this month, North Zone Fire managers announced big picture plans for the 2017-2018 prescribed fire season across the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
As conditions fell within prescriptive parameters over the past ten days, that focus has narrowed, and firefighters are ready to begin hazardous fuels reduction treatments within the Tipover East prescribed fire (Tipover Rx) unit as early as Tuesday.
Fuels: The Tipover Rx consists of vegetation that is predominantly first-entry mixed conifer, which in this case means the area has not seen fire disturbance in more than 100 years and therefore contains above-average fuel loads potentially posing a higher risk of a large-scale wildfire. Fire managers plan to treat approximately 2,500 acres during this season.
Location: The unit is located on a strip of forested land along the boundary of Grand Canyon National Park and the Kaibab National Forest west of Highway 67.
Objectives: Reduce accumulations of hazardous fuels and protect sensitive cultural and natural resources.
Smoke: Smoke impacts may include Highway 89A, Highway 67, Marble Canyon and other visitor areas.
Safety: During prescribed fires, motorists are cautioned that smoke may be present in short durations, which may impact roads and populated areas. Motorists are reminded to use caution, drive slowly, turn on headlights, and avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel are working.
As a reminder, all prescribed burning is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and appropriate weather conditions. For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorized on any given day, please visit http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.
Fire information: Additional information is made available through the following resources: Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5632/; Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line (928) 635-8311; Text Message – text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404; https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/fire_info.htm.