Fire managers on the south zone of the Kaibab National Forest will resume implementation on the Sunflower prescribed fire project beginning Saturday of this week. With red flag conditions subsiding and a measure of moisture in the immediate forecast, favorable weather conditions have presented an opportunity to continue with treatments in this specific area.
Kaibab National Forest
The Kaibab National Forest in cooperation with the Parks Area Connection and Sherwood Forest Estates Fire District are announcing dates the green waste disposal site will open to residents for dumping of woody debris materials from private property.
This alternative site is being offered to the local community as a result of the temporary closure of the Moonset Pit while undergoing construction to expand capacity for future operations.
Kaibab National Forest fire managers would like to remind visitors and the public to use extreme caution with campfires and any other activity that could potentially cause a wildfire as the weekend approaches.
North Zone fire managers plan to continue pile burning activity in the vicinity of the North Rim Developed Area, which consists of two, 16-acre units of hand piles. Pending favorable weather conditions, ignitions could begin as early as next week. As a reminder, the North Rim and Arizona Highway 67 are closed for the season and will re-open this spring.
Heavy wooded areas ignited by the Gate 13 Fire this week are still burning today at Camp Navajo.
Rain and snow has reduced some burning timber to smolders; however, the moisture and cold temperatures have created mud and ice on the roads.
Camp Navajo Fire Department is reporting no issues at this point and will continue to monitor the fire until it is 100 percent extinguished.
Fire Managers on the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest will continue burning slash piles on a 429 acre block this week just west of the Grand Canyon Airport.
The return of wet winter weather has enabled crews to resume working where they started last month eliminating woody fuel loads from previous thinning projects southwest of the town of Tusayan. Piles generally consume quickly due to the arrangement of burnable material above the ground and have little to no spread potential over the dampened surface.
Incident command for the Gate 13 Fire is scheduled to downsize from an integrated team of Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management and Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs personnel to Camp Navajo Fire Department tomorrow morning.
This decision comes with reports of 75 percent containment of the fire and a weather forecast favorable to fire suppression for the rest of the week.
Fire crews will begin burning an additional 500 acres of hand piles scattered across the southern half of the Williams Ranger District beginning Monday of this week.
Inclement weather bringing moisture has presented favorable conditions to continue reducing fuel loads at various locations that include Coleman Lake, Sevier Flat, and Jackass Flat. Conditions will be evaluated daily before burns are implemented to ensure desirable effects and management objectives are being met. Fire managers will conduct operations incrementally at different locations throughout the week.
A morning reconnaissance of the Gate 13 Fire determined that increased winds of 20-30 mph, with gust up to 35, at Camp Navajo have significantly reduced the burn rate and spread of the fire.
Firebreaks installed yesterday are holding up to the fire and secondary breaks were installed in the northwest sector of the area.
In addition, “Bambi Bucket” water drops are extinguishing hot spots along the eastern boundary of the fire. This effort has been productive with 5-to-7 minute turn around times from water collection to release.
Camp Navajo Fire Department has conducted proactive firefighting measures to help contain and suppress the Gate 13 fire in anticipation of high winds tomorrow.
Firefighters widened 100 percent of the firebreaks in critical areas and called for additional firefighting resources to help suppress the fire that began Feb. 6.
The fire have limited the spread, however, it did spread beyond Volunteer Canyon in the southeast quadrant. Firefighters suppressed slow-moving spot fires.