North Zone fire managers on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park have announced locations where they plan to complete prescribed fire projects starting this month and continuing through the spring of 2019. Approximately 10,000 acres could be eligible for treatment across the plateau in Fiscal Year 2019, but the implementation of each project will only occur when weather, fuel moisture, and smoke dispersal conditions are within the defined prescription parameters.
Kaibab National Forest
Favorable weekend weather conditions limited fire growth yesterday on the Cat Fire. Crews took advantage of lighter than anticipated winds and higher humidity to focus on reconnaissance to the north-northwest, reinforcing the fire’s western flank, and planning options for closure recommendations to the Kaibab National Forest Supervisor.
With moisture imminent in the immediate weather forecast, prescribed fire operations will temporarily cease on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.
The Cat Fire was not as active yesterday as firefighters previously anticipated, with most fire activity occurring at the southwest end of the main fire in a drainage that crosses a portion of the southeastern boundary between the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Today, firefighters will continue to monitor that drainage and initiate firing operations as necessary in order to keep any runs that may occur in alignment with the main fire. This tactic helps reduce the effects of any high severity fire behavior that could occur.
A smoke column was visible yesterday as increased fire activity simultaneously pushed growth south to Forest Road 610 and west to Forest Road 219. Firefighters successfully established the dozer line off FR D2441, which was done to help reinforce movement of the fire’s western flank.
“We expect strong winds this afternoon,” said Cat Fire Incident Commander Kody Stoner. “Today, the plan is to monitor the drainage to the west of the main fire and initiate firing operations as necessary in order to reduce the effects of high severity fire behavior that could occur today.”
Fire managers on the south zone of the Kaibab National Forest will continue ignitions on the Sunflower Prescribed Fire Project through the weekend ahead as forest conditions remain favorable. Over the past three days, 3731 acres have been treated with an additional 2100 acre unit scheduled to be ignited on Saturday, and a 1000 acre block on Sunday.
During the remaining firing operations this week campers and hunters are asked to avoid establishing campsites near the fire activity and seek alternative sites away from the burn area.
Fire activity increased due to lower relative humidity and increased winds mid-afternoon yesterday. Meanwhile, firefighters completed firing operations on the western flank of the main fire along Forest Road 2599 and south to FR 610.
Today firefighters plan to conduct firing operations on an as-needed basis only and install dozer line off FR D2441. This dozer line will help firefighters reinforce the western flank in the event that increased fire behavior pushes the main fire westward toward FR219.
Cat Fire Overview:
If conditions are favorable to do so, firefighters will continue to conduct burnout operations on the Cat Fire today that has burned approximately 4,497 acres in the rugged terrain of Saddle Mountain Wilderness in the North Kaibab Ranger District, Kaibab National Forest.
Incident Commander Kody Stoner said that crews were successful with their burnout on the fire’s west flank adjacent to Forest Road 2599 yesterday and plan to continue to burnout that western flank and work south toward Forest Road 610 today.
Although there has been change in overhead, Kody Stoner, the new incident commander on the Cat fire stated, “Not much change has occurred on the fire and activity remains low. There was no smoke visibility yesterday.” With showers expected to come in over higher terrain areas between Monday and Tuesday, fire activity will be very quiet.
Cat Fire Overview:
Date reported: August 6, 2018
Moisture received yesterday on the Cat Fire moderated fire behavior and dampened light fuels, delaying planned burnout operations. If favorable conditions exist and it is safe to do so, crews plan to conduct burnout operations, introducing fire inside the control line to consume fuel between the edge of the fire and the control line along Forest Road 2599. This is done to secure the fire’s western edge and stop its growth toward critical infrastructure.
Cat Fire Overview: