Community News

News release: Tusayan Ranger District wildfire managed for multiple objectives continues to grow due to dry conditions

August 6, 2015

 Tusayan, Ariz., Aug. 6, 2015—For Immediate Release.



The lightning-caused wildfire on the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National steadily grew yesterday with the aid of higher winds. “This fire is being driven solely by the dry winds out of the west,” said Brandon Oberhardt, incident commander. The 1,064-acre fire is located near Rock Lake Pothole just south of the Coconino Rim about 15 miles southeast of the Town of Tusayan. The wildfire, started by lightning July 31 and discovered by fire managers Aug. 1,  continues to benefit the ecological balance of the forest by burning excess fuels at a low-to-moderate level of intensity through an area dominated by ponderosa pine trees.


Today: Firefighter strategy is to continue to monitor the fire, which has shown vigorous activity due to the dry conditions, and to ensure that it maintains a steady, manageable rate of spread as it increases in size. They will also continue to prepare roads and fire sensitive resources in anticipation of the fire’s future growth. The public is urged to use caution while driving near the fire area due to reduced visibly from smoke, an increase in traffic due to fire equipment in the area, and firefighters on foot removing fuel along the side of roads. There are also ongoing road grading activities along Forest Road 310. 


Smoke: Due to the cooler temperatures of the mornings, smoke remains close to the ground, hovering in the vicinity of the fire. By mid-day, the warmer temperatures and increased wind speeds are driving the smoke northeast over the Upper Basin and toward the Cameron and Tuba City area. Intermittent rain and thunderstorm activity are forecast for the next two days. However, the Rock Fire is expected to continue to burn actively and produce smoke that will be visible from Cameron, Tuba City,Valle and Highway 64. Smoke may sink overnight into Tappan Wash and potentially move toward Cameron.


Size: 1,064 acres


Start Date: July 31, 2015


Location: Near Rock Lake Pothole south of the Coconino Rim about 15 miles southeast of Tusayan


Additional Rock Fire information, photos and maps are available through the following resources: InciWeb; Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line (928) 635-8311; Text Message – text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404.