On Saturday, November 1, smoke was reported approximately 6.5 miles north and west of the developed area on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Upon investigating, firefighters found a small, lightning-caused fire, approximately ¼ acre in size, burning west of The Basin and North of the W1 road.
This fire, the November Fire, is smoldering in ponderosa pine with some fir encroachment in an area that has seen little fire in recent years. Given fall's shorter days and cooler temperatures and the desire to restore fire to this portion of the North Rim forests, National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) fire managers, working together as the North Zone Fire Management Unit (North Zone), have decided to manage the November Fire for resource benefit.
No significant cultural resources are immediately apparent in the vicinity of the fire; and northern goshawks, which nest on the North Rim, have fledged for the season. However, if goshawk nests or archeological sites are found in the area, firefighters will take action to secure them.
Current weather forecasts call for a chance of moisture within the next 36-48 hours, which could smother the November Fire. If, however, the fire continues to smolder, its activity could increase over the weekend as weather conditions dry and as temperatures normalize to lows in the 30s and highs in the 40s and 50s.
Fire managers decide to "manage a fire for resource benefit" in order to achieve defined resource objectives. With the November Fire, North Zone fire managers intend to maintain natural processes in a fire-dependent ecosystem and reduce the build up of vegetation that has resulted from the lack of fire in this part of the forest.
Fore more information on the November Fire, call the Grand Canyon Public Affairs Office at (928) 638-7958. For general Grand Canyon fire information or to learn more about the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the park's Fire Management Plan, visit the park's Web site at www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/fire_info.htm.