Grand Canyon

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.

Kaibab National Forest and Grand Canyon National Park fire resources are responding to a wildfire located southwest of Grand Canyon Airport on the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest. The Rain Fire is about 150 acres in size and is being suppressed by aerial and ground firefighting resources.

Resources responding include an air attack platform, one air tanker, two single engine air tankers, one helicopter, three engines, one dozer, and three 20-person hand crews.

Firefighters today will begin ignition operations near the top of Kendrick Mountain. The plan is to reduce fuels adjacent to a lookout tower and a cabin that dates to the early 20th century. The action is part of an indirect-attack strategy that provides for firefighter safety and minimizes impacts to resources. Steep slopes with heavy dead and down trees and forest debris make the indirect strategy the most practical. It is also effective in minimizing the impacts to the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness. Firefighter and public safety remain the highest priority.
 
Predicted calmer winds on Tuesday may allow fire personnel to reassess operational tactics. In order to mitigate negative impacts on resources in the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness, fire managers plan to use aerial ignitions to introduce fire on the peaks. Flames burning uphill preheat fuels, creating a hotter burn which can harm the natural ecosystem. In contrast, flames backing down a slope burn at a much lower severity. Firefighters will introduce a lower-intensity backing fire.

A Type III Incident Management Team led by Incident Commander True Brown assumed command of the Boundary Fire at 6 a.m. this morning. The 380-acre Boundary Fire is currently burning on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest but is expected to move onto the Kaibab National Forest side of the boundary line within the next several days.

Fire personnel from the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests are responding jointly to a lightning-caused wildfire located on the northeast side of Kendrick Peak in Kendrick Mountain Wilderness. The 300-acre Boundary Fire is currently burning on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest but is expected to move onto the Kaibab National Forest side of the boundary line within the next several days. Therefore, a joint fire organization has been established.
 

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