Local News

News Release: Kaibab National Forest South Zone Fire Managers to Begin the Russell Prescribed Fire Project

June 24, 2019

 TUSAYAN, Ariz., June 23, 2019—For Immediate Release. Fire managers on the south zone of the Kaibab National Forest will begin prescribe fire operations on the Tusayan Ranger Districts beginning Monday June 24th and will likely burn through the week. Ignitions will take place on the Russell Rx project located approximately 18 miles southeast of Tusayan. The goal of this project is to burn 2,130 acres clearing the area of flammable fuel sources that could prevent a potential wildfire from occurring.


“This year’s wet conditions gives us the rare opportunity to do some in-season prescribed burning to reduce heavy fuels, said Brandon Oberhardt Engine Captain on the South Zone.” Due to the higher snow and precipitation levels that were received across northern Arizona this past winter, conditions have presented ideal opportunities to implement prescribed burns this summer. Prescribed fire is one of the many tools used to accomplish multiple forest restoration objectives. It is also beneficial as a practical method to reduce risks associated with uncharacteristic wildfires that can pose significant threats to public health and safety.


Smoke will be highly visible at times near Desert View on the east entrance to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Officials understand that smoke impacts to air quality may be heavy at times, however, prescribed fires can significantly reduce the effects of an uncontrolled wildfire. Smoke will be monitored very closely with the intent to minimize impacts to rural areas.


During operations, fire personnel and vehicles working in these vicinities will be visible to the public. Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened awareness when passing through active project areas.


All prescribed burning on the Kaibab National Forest is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.


For additional information about the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed

burns authorizations, please visit www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.


Additional fire information for Kaibab National Forest can be obtained through the following sources:


Fire Information Recorded Hotline: 928-635-8311

·       Twitter: www.twitter.com/KaibabNF

·       Kaibab Facebook: www.facebook.com/KaibabNF

·       Kaibab website “Recent News”: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab

·       Kaibab South Zone Rx Fire: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5922/