Grand Canyon National Park ignites burns near North Rim developed area

Prescribed burns were ignited near the North Rim developed area, including Bright Angel Point (pictured).

Photo/WGCN

Prescribed burns were ignited near the North Rim developed area, including Bright Angel Point (pictured).

Fire managers will take advantage of favorable weather conditions over the next several weeks and initiate prescribed burns on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

The Bright Angel prescribed fire is located near the North Rim developed area. The entire burn unit is approximately 387 acres in size and is comprised mostly of ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forest. Objectives of the Bright Angel treatment include reducing the accumulation of forest fuels in the area to protect life and property from wildfire, to aid in the preservation of historic structures and archaeological sites, and to help restore the North Rim developed area cultural landscape.

 Fire managers also anticipate initiating pile burns in the North Rim developed area depending on weather conditions. Piles consist of small diameter trees, branches, and twigs removed during hazardous fuel reduction projects intended to improve defensible space within the wildland urban interface at the North Rim.

Prescribed fires play an important role in decreasing risks to life, resources, and property. Fire managers carefully plan prescribed fires, initiating them only under environmental conditions that are favorable to assuring firefighter and visitor safety.

Objectives include reducing accumulations of hazard fuels, maintaining the natural role of fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, and protection of sensitive cultural and natural resources.

Fire managers are working with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality- Smoke Management Division to reduce and mitigate potential smoke impacts. Smoke from prescribed fires will be most visible during ignition operations and will likely gradually diminish after ignitions are completed. Smoke will be visible from Highway 67 and 89A as well as various locations on the North Rim and South Rim.

 Prior to implementing the burns, fire managers will evaluate current conditions and will only begin ignition if the conditions are within established parameters.

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