Tusayan

Crews plan to begin working on two prescribed burns near Tusayan beginning Tuesday and will likely continue burning for several days providing weather conditions remain favorable for meeting forest health objectives and smoke dispersion.

Ignitions will occur tomorrow on 250 acres of slash piles on the Flying J prescribed fire project located just west of Grand Canyon airport. On Wednesday operations will shift to the Reed prescribed fire project where fire officials hope to treat approximately 600 acres using a broadcast burn. This unit is located about 6 miles east of Tusayan.

The Coco Fire is expected to burn naturally over the next several days, consuming hazardous fuels, smoldering and producing light visible smoke within the immediate fire area. The fire is now estimated at 2000 acres.

Today, the fire organization is transitioning from a Type 3 to a Type 4, reducing in size yet efficient for fire-fighting conditions. Crews will continue to hold and monitor the fire and mitigate any hazardous trees weakened by the fire. No additional news releases will be issued unless there is significant change in fire activity.

With higher relative humidity and light rains over the Coco Fire smoke production will continue to decrease through the weekend. According to Dan Pearson, Incident Commander, “Despite the forecasted monsoonal moisture, this is not likely a fire ending event.  When drier conditions return to Northern Arizona, it is anticipated the Coco Fire will resume activity in the interior drainages where heavy fuels will often continue smoldering during moderate rainfall.”

The lightning-caused Coco Fire on the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest has grown to 300 acres in size while reducing hazardous fuel accumulations and restoring overall forest health.

Fire crews continue preparation work ahead of the main wildfire along 2 miles of the Arizona Trail between forest roads 303 and 2719. Ignitions are also occurring to the southwest of the fire near the intersection of forest roads 302 and 303 in order to ensure it remains within predetermined control lines.

Yesterday, crew members finished the preparation work of burning out the area along Forest Road 2719 in order to prevent the Coco Fire from going beyond that. Today, firefighters will continue by burning along approximately 2 miles of the Arizona Trail from Watson Trick Tank to Forest Road 303. This work will reduce any potential for high intensity fire and improve safety to users of the trail.

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