Local News

News Release: Prescribed fire near Tusayan tentatively planned for this week

April 4, 2022

Williams, AZ, April 1, 2022 — This Wednesday through Friday, April 6-8, fire managers are tentatively planning to continue treatments on the Reed Prescribed Fire Project near Tusayan.  Pending favorable conditions crews will conduct up to 300 acres of broadcast burning (applying fire across the forest floor) on the Upper Ten-X unit northeast of town.

The National Weather Service is predicting a chance of rain/snow on Monday which could delay operations, potentially to the following week. Precipitation is one of many factors that affect plans to burn. When the ground is too wet, fire cannot effectively move across the forest floor or fully consume the fuels, creating smoke but not meeting restoration objectives.

When crews move forward with ignitions, smoke may be visible from State Route 64, Tusayan, and the Grand Canyon and is expected to disperse northeast during the day. Residual smoke will settle into drainages and low-lying areas around Tusayan overnight. The portion of the Arizona Trail that is nearby will remain open.


This spring, fire mangers on the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts are planning treatments on the following projects:

·   Greenbase Project:  Just north of the City Williams; 3500 acres; Smoke likely noticeable around Williams, Highway 64, and Interstate 40.

·   Marteen Project: Five miles northwest of Spring Valley; 4200 acres; Smoke possible in the areas of Spring Valley Cabin and Forest Road 141.

·   Reed Project: Just south and northeast of Tusayan; 3300 acres; Overnight smoke generally settles around Forest Road 302, Tusayan, and south toward Red Butte.

·   Blue Stem Project: Remote corner of Tusayan District 15-20 miles east northeast of State Route 64 and Red Butte; Total of approx. 6000 acres; Limited smoke on local roads; minimal impacts to populated areas.

Fire plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy forest and reducing risks of uncharacteristic wildfires that threaten public health and safety.  A healthy forest is a resilient forest where fire occurs on regular basis.

Fire managers recognize that smoke can impact residents and visitors. However, because crews have some control over when and how the beneficial fires occur on the landscape, science shows that the amount and duration of smoke from such fires are significantly less than smoke from severe, intense wildfires. The Kaibab National Forest coordinates closely with partners and communities to identify objectives and develop sound and well-informed strategies which include monitoring multiple conditions and taking actions minimize smoke impacts as much as possible.

All prescribed fires on the Kaibab National Forest are subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. The department provides details about its air quality program online at legacy.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html

Additional fire information for the Kaibab National Forest is available 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/