Lightning caused wildfires being managed on Tusayan Ranger District

Two lightning caused fires are being monitored in the Tusayan/Grand Canyon ares. Smoke may be seen from Tusayan, Grand Canyon, Cameron, Valle and Highways 64 and 180. Photo/Kaibab National Forest, USFS

Two lightning caused fires are being monitored in the Tusayan/Grand Canyon ares. Smoke may be seen from Tusayan, Grand Canyon, Cameron, Valle and Highways 64 and 180. Photo/Kaibab National Forest, USFS

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - Two new fire starts, the Scott and Airstrip fires are being managing by fire officials on the Tusayan Ranger District of Kaibab National Forest.

The Scott fire, located in a remote area on the Coconino rim near forest road 310 eleven miles east of Tusayan, was discovered June 28 and has grown to around five acres.

The Airstrip fire discovered June 29, is around six acres and is located just south of the town of Tusayan on the east side of Highway 64.

The Scott fire is burning in pinyon juniper and ponderosa pines on the northeast slope of the Coconino rim in the Upper Basin. A temporary detour has been put in place on a section of the Arizona Trail between the Grand View lookout tower and Forest Road 311 north of Russell Tank. Trail users are asked to follow directions posted along the trail and avoid areas where fire is present.

The Airstrip fire is burning in a predominant ponderosa pine stand adjacent the Grand Canyon Airport. It is visible from Tusayan and Highway 64. Both fires will be allowed to move within a predetermined planning area for the purpose of reducing hazardous fuels and restoring overall forest health.

"With the recent arrival of monsoon rains, conditions in the forest have become favorable for us to utilize both of these fires to significantly improve the landscape" said Josh Miller, assistant fire management officer on the Tusayan Ranger District. "We recognize the concern people have about the Airstrip fire being managed relatively close to the community. By allowing moderate ground fire to clean up this critical piece of forest south of the developed areas, fuels loads will decrease creating a safeguard in front of the community. The end result will reduce a future threat of a potentially devastating wildfire running straight toward the town from the south."

Weather conditions are expected to vary on a daily basis which will influence changes in fire behavior and growth patterns as both fires begin to progress.

Smoke may be visible from Grand Canyon Village, Tusayan, Cameron, Valle and Highways 64 and 180. Fire managers will monitor smoke impacts closely and will employ extra measures as necessary to minimize smoke impacts to the surrounding residential areas.

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