Community News

Parks Service News Release :Prescribed Burn Planned for North Rim at Grand Canyon National Park

November 18, 2013

Grand Canyon, AZ – National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Forrest Service (USFS) fire managers working together as the North Zone Interagency Fire Management Program plan to conduct a prescribed fire on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park the week of November 18th.

The North Rim Slopes Prescribed Fire (North Rim Slopes Rx) is located just west of Highway 67 and south of the Kaibab National Forest boundary. Fire managers anticipate initiating the North Rim Slopes Rx on Monday, November 18th and expect to complete ignitions on Wednesday, November 20th should conditions remain favorable. Ignitions are anticipated to last two to three days, with several days or weeks of residual smoke to follow. The primary treatment area consists of Ponderosa pine and mixed conifer stands.

The North Rim Slopes Burn Unit is approximately 22,000 acres. During this prescribed fire approximately 1,000 acres will be treated, including 500 acres previously treated during a wildfire in 2003.

Prescribed fires play an important role in decreasing risks to life, resources, and property by reducing accumulations of forest fuels and maintaining the natural role of fire in a fire-dependent ecosystem. Like all prescribed fires, the plan for the North Rim Slopes Rx contains a set of parameters that define (amongst other things) the wind speed and direction, humidity, temperature, dispersion, expected weather and fuel conditions under which the fire can be initiated. Prior to implementing the project, fire managers will evaluate current conditions and will only ignite the fire if the prescribed conditions are within those parameters.

Smoke impacts on Highway 67 are expected. In addition, smoke is likely to settle into the canyon at night, beginning to lift out with daytime heating by late morning. Coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is ongoing.

Visitors may see fire personnel, vehicles, and air support in the vicinity of the burn unit. Please drive slowly, turn your lights on, and avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel are working.