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Thu, Jan. 28

Spring burning to start soon

Fire managers for the Kaibab National Forest plan to begin their spring prescribed burn program on the Tusayan Ranger District as soon as weather and fuels conditions allow.

Within the next few weeks, fire officials are planning two prescribed burns on the district.

The highest priority burn is in the Tusayan East project area, which is located just east of the community of Tusayan.

Fire managers plan to burn small blocks of 50 acres or less due to the proximity to the community.

Fire officials will be looking to burn during relatively cool conditions in order to keep the prescribed fire at a low level of intensity.

They will also be looking for good ventilation conditions so that smoke will move up and away from the community as quickly as possible.

The prescribed burning within the Tusayan East project area will begin adjacent to the Tusayan Ranger District office.

Firefighters will then work their way south toward Tusayan burning small blocks along the east side of state Highway 64.

All of this small-scale burning will be in preparation for larger burning projects in the future in the 944-acre Tusayan East project area.

The purpose of the burn is to reduce fire risk in the wildland-urban interface zone, the area where forest and community meet.

The Kaibab National Forest continues to focus on these areas for treatment in order to protect lives and property.

The second prescribed burn Tusayan fire managers hope to complete this spring is in the Scott project area. About 200 acres are scheduled for burning south of Grandview Point.

Goals of the Scott burn include re-establishing fire's natural role in the ecosystem and reducing the risk of high-intensity wildland fire moving through those areas.

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 more information, contact Jackie Denk at 928-635-8314.

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