Update on South Rim prescribed fire

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Grand Canyon National Park fire officials implemented the Hearst Tank prescribed burn on the South Rim Oct. 24. Approximately 100 acres were ignited.

The Hearst Tank Prescribed Fire is part of a three-unit project including Watson 1 and Hance. These burn units are located south of Highway 64 near Grandview Point, about nine miles southeast of Grand Canyon Village.

Portions of these units and the surrounding areas burned earlier this year during the Ruby Fire on the Kaibab National Forest (to the west and south) and the Game Reserve Fire within Grand Canyon National Park (to the north and east.) The Hearst Tank unit includes 491 unburned acres within the 933-acre unit. The Watson 1 burn unit includes 235 unburned acres within the 365 acre unit. The Hance burn unit includes 272 unburned acres within the 342-acre unit. The Watson 1 and Hance units last burned in 2002.

Fire crews continued burning on the units Oct. 25. Approximately 1,000 acres will be treated as the project progresses. All ignition activities will occur only as weather and fuel conditions permit. Smoke is projected to disperse to the northeast and will likely settle into the canyon at night, beginning to lift out with daytime heating by late morning. Visitors may also see some smoke and smoldering fire activity for several days after ignition is completed. Minor traffic delays are possible in the fire vicinity. Please drive with caution and watch for personnel and equipment.

To learn more about the Watson1-Hance-Hearst Tank Prescribed Fires, please call South Rim Fire Management Officer Art Gonzales at (928) 638-7947.

To learn more about Grand Canyon National Park's fire management program, visit the park's Web site at www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.

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