Local News

News Release:Prescribed Fire Planned for South Rim of Grand Canyon Beginning June 7, 2023

June 6, 2023

GRAND CANYON, Ariz.— Grand Canyon National Park fire managers will resume prescribed burning on the South Rim this week.

On Wednesday, June 7, fire personnel will continue working on the Grapevine unit, approximately 0.5 miles south of the “Duck on a Rock” overlook along Highway 64 (Desert View Drive).

The Grapevine unit is a total of 865 acres located between the Kaibab National Forest to the south and E4/Long Jim Canyon Road to the north. Last month, crews completed about 200 acres of “blacklining” (creating a boundary of burned fuel) on three sides of the unit.

Fire managers will utilize aerial ignition Wednesday to complete the remainder before possibly moving on to the nearby 926-acre Lonetree unit Thursday and Friday as conditions allow. Weather is expected to be mostly favorable, with highs in the seventies. High winds may be a factor in burning operations, but should also help to diffuse the smoke.

Smoke from both project areas will be most visible during ignition operations and will likely gradually diminish after ignitions are completed. Smoke impacts are most anticipated along Highway 64 (Desert View Drive) and the Arizona Trail near Grandview as it enters the Kaibab National Forest. Smoke may also impact the Grand Canyon Village and the inner canyon, particularly near the ignition area. Fire managers are working with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality-Smoke Management Division to reduce and mitigate potential smoke impacts.

Drivers traveling along Desert View Drive are advised to move along the highway slowly with their lights on, avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel are working and follow directions of signs and personnel. There are no road closures anticipated, but traffic control or one-way traffic may be implemented if smoke impacts cause unsafe driving conditions.

Prescribed fires play an important role in decreasing risks to life, resources, and property.  Fire managers carefully plan prescribed fires, initiating them only under environmental conditions that are favorable to firefighter and visitor safety and achieving the desired objectives. Prescribed fire objectives include reducing accumulations of hazard fuels, maintaining the natural role of fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, and protection of sensitive natural and cultural resources.