Spring burning begins<br>
This spring, fire officials are planning prescribed burns on up to 3,350 acres in three locations. The burns will be conducted in order to re-establish fire’s natural role in the ecosystem and reduce the risk of high-intensity wildland fires.
“Usually, we are able to get a lot of prescribed burning done in the fall,” said Holly Kleindienst, assistant fuels program manager for the Williams Ranger District. “However, the wet weather we received put a literal damper on burning through the fall and winter. We are hoping to get some of that burning done this spring prior to fire season.”
Any burning not accomplished this spring will be considered high priority for burning later in the year. Fire managers will be looking for opportunities to burn as soon as the monsoons begin, signaling the end of fire season.
On the Tusayan Ranger District, fire managers may have the opportunity to burn in three areas this spring. In the Scott Project area, located northeast of Skinner Tank between the new Forest Road 302 alignment and the closed Forest Road 302, district fire officials hope to burn 80 acres of piles and then use low-to-moderate-intensity fire to burn up to 1,000 acres in the project area. Piles are made up of stacked tree slash cut during thinning projects.
Tusayan fire officials also hope to burn in the 5,100-acre Red Horse project area, located about six miles south of Grandview. Up to 1,800 acres could be burned this spring.
Also being eyed for spring burning is about 100 acres of the Tusayan South Project area between Grand Canyon Airport and Highway 64 south of Tusayan.
In the summer, fire managers plan to burn about 400 acres of sagebrush. Because hot and dry conditions are needed, they hope to implement the burn in June.
“We hope to get a lot of this burning accomplished before fire season,” Kleindienst said. “However, we have to wait for the right conditions. That may be difficult given the wet and windy weather we’ve had lately.”
Prior to prescribed burning, forest fire officials evaluate weather conditions and coordinate with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
If conditions do not meet set standards, burns will be postponed until conditions are appropriate.
For further information, please call Jackie Denk at 928-635-5607.
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