Operations on the Wildhorse prescribed fire (Wildhorse Rx) continue to progress. Fire managers estimate that approximately 1,000 acres of hazardous fuels have been treated since the project began yesterday on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.
Today resources will continue ignition operations on the Wildhorse Rx unit. Fire managers anticipate smoke to impact communities in Marble Canyon and Page, AZ, and traffic directly adjacent to the Wildhorse Rx Unit. Plans are in place to implement pilot-car operations to escort motorists along this portion of Highway 89A if required.
The 2,800-acre Wildhorse Rx unit is located near Jacob Lake and consists of vegetation that is predominantly ponderosa pine, pinyon pine, juniper and a few scattered clumps of aspen. Objectives for this treatment include reducing accumulations of hazardous fuels to 5 tons-per-acre and protecting sensitive cultural and natural resources.
Additional North Zone prescribed fire updates are as follows:
Tipover East Rx: Ignition operations on the Tipover East Rx are complete, and firefighters continue to monitor and patrol the unit. Objectives for this unit include reducing accumulations of hazardous fuels and protecting sensitive cultural and natural resources.
North Rim Slopes Rx: Fire managers treated an additional 25 acres yesterday within the North Rim Slopes Rx unit. The unit is located along the north boundary of Grand Canyon National Park, west of Highway 67. Objectives include reducing accumulations of hazardous fuels by 25 percent and returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem.
High Severity Edge Rx: Fire managers plan to initiate hand-ignition operations today on the High Severity Edge Rx. The unit is comprised primarily of ponderosa pine and is located on the Walhalla Plateau, west of Cape Royal Road. This protection project is a third-entry treatment for an area that recently had wildfires - the 2009 Aspen Fire and the 2001 Vista Fire. A specific objective of this Rx is to limit new high severity fires on the Walhalla Plateau.
Smoke Impacts: Smoke will be visible from various locations on the North and South rims. This includes Arizona Highway 89A and Arizona Highway 67. Motorists are cautioned that smoke may be present in short durations, which may impact roads and populated areas, and are reminded to use caution, drive slowly, turn on headlights, and avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel is working.
Fire managers are working with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Smoke Management Division to reduce and mitigate potential smoke impacts. For additional information and to view prescribed burns authorized on any given day, please visit http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.
Fire Information: Additional fire information about the North Zone Interagency Fire Management Program’s fall prescribed fires can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5632/; Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line 928-635-8311; or https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/fire_info.htm.