Persistent wet weather has presented favorable opportunities for fire crews to continue burning piles at numerous locations across the Kaibab National Forest. Fire personnel on the Williams Ranger District will be moving to an area known has Kaufman Springs today approximately 4 miles north of the community of Parks to continue with operations.
Kaibab National Forest
Fire managers will continue to burn piles on the Williams and Tusayan ranger districts of the Kaibab National Forest today (12/6/2018) and tomorrow (12/7/2018).
On The Williams district, 139 acres of piles off of Forest Road 186 just south of Forest Road 108 near Coleman Lake will be ignited Thursday with an additional 52 acres to be treated on Friday.
On The Tusayan district, 19 acres of piles will burned on Thursday approximately 2 miles west of the Grand Canyon Airport.
Fire managers plan to burn piles on the Tusayan and Williams ranger districts of the Kaibab National Forest starting tomorrow and continuing through next week, as conditions allow. The piles are the result of forest restoration efforts, and the goal of burning them is to further reduce fuels that could feed high-intensity wildfire.
Tusayan Ranger District
North Zone fire managers plan to begin prescribed fire operations on Monday (Nov. 12, 2018) and continue through all of next week on up to 3,000 acres on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest, depending on weather conditions, fuel moisture and smoke dispersal on any given day.
Specifically, fire managers plan to treat acres in the following four project locations through the week in order to improve forest health and reduce the risk of unnaturally severe wildfire:
Fuels reduction efforts will be continuing on both the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts beginning Friday (11/9/2018) of this week. Both districts will be conducting broadcast burns that could extend over the next several days as environmental and weather conditions permit.
The 12,000 acre Sunflower Prescribed Fire Project located approximately 8 miles southeast of Williams has been ongoing over the past year with nearly 7000 acres successfully treated to date. Aerial ignitions will continue as crews work toward completing the remaining 5000 acres on this project.
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.
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.”