GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Crews plan to begin working on two prescribed burns near Tusayan beginning May 23 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 May 24, 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 removal of cured slash piles is critical for reducing hazardous fuels that can often threaten rural communities, particularly when they are located adjacent to developed infrastructure and residential homes. Broadcast burning is utilized to introduce fire to ground surfaces over much wider areas which also consume accumulations of dead and down debris lessening the potential for a catastrophic wildfire.
Smoke is expected to disperse away from sensitive areas for both of these burns during the day. Residual smoke may settle into drainages and low lying areas overnight but will dissipate rapidly throughout the morning hours. Smoke may be visible from Highway 64 and from the communities of Grand Canyon, Valle and Tusayan. Light smoke may linger overnight and in the early morning hours.
Officials remind motorists to always use caution when driving on roadways where visibility may potentially be impacted by smoke. Fire managers work closely with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, partners in the Grand Canyon National Park, as well as surrounding Native American tribes to monitor air quality.
Notifications of upcoming prescribed burns are provided regularly throughout the season. More information about prescribed burns in the area can be found at: Inciweb (inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5160/); fire fnformation recorded hotline: (928) 635-831; Facebook (facebook.com/KaibabNF/); and Twitter (twitter.com/kaibabnf). those interested in receiving regular updates can also text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404.