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Mon, July 06

Ignitions end on the Sunflower prescribed fire southeast of Williams

A firefighter ignites vegetation on the Sunflower prescribed burn southwest of Williams. (Kaibab National Forest/Dyan Bone/photo)

A firefighter ignites vegetation on the Sunflower prescribed burn southwest of Williams. (Kaibab National Forest/Dyan Bone/photo)

Fire managers on the south zone of the Kaibab National Forest continue operations on multiple prescribed fire projects on both the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts.

Fire personnel completed all planned ignitions Tuesday, June 11 on the prescribed fire and will continue to monitor the area the rest of the week. Light smoke may be present over the next few days.

The Sunflower Rx project south of Williams began June 10. Aerial ignitions were used to accelerate the project and help reduce the number of days of smoke production will occur. A large column of smoke was visible south of Interstate 40 between Parks and Williams on June 10 and 11.

The Sunflower Prescribed Fire project is located approximately 8 miles southeast of Williams between County Road 73 and Whitehorse Lake. A helicopter was used for aerial ignitions on the 2,500 acre unit. The operation is expected to last for approximately three days.

Visitors are asked to avoid camping near the areas surrounding this burn and follow directions that are posted in the vicinity of the project area.

On the Reed Rx project near Tusayan, approximately 629 acres have been completed to date. During the week of June 10-14, up to an additional 800 acres will be burned to continue objectives and reduce fuels.

Crews are moving forward with operations treating approximately 200 acres per day. Ignitions are occurring in the morning and discontinuing in the early afternoon to allow time for good ventilation and to minimize smoke impacts to the adjacent communities. The Russell Rx project located approximately 18 miles southeast of Tusayan will also be considered for treatments over the month ahead.

Officials said they recognize that forest conditions are not always aligned with typical seasonal trends. They said this year’s record setting moisture levels have presented exceptional opportunities to implement these types of burns in the early summer months. Prescribed burning is one of many forest restoration methods used occurring throughout the year that can provide advantageous results.

Information provided by Kaibab National Forest and Inciweb

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