WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Fire managers on the South Zone of the Kaibab National Forest will continue operations on multiple prescribed fire projects on both the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts over the next several days and into next week as conditions remain optimal for beneficial prescribed fire treatments.
Crews are currently working on the Sunflower Prescribed Fire project located approximately 8 miles southeast of Williams. The project is located between County Road 73 and Whitehorse Lake and is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, June 18. A helicopter will be used for aerial ignitions in combination with ground ignitions on this 2803 acre unit. This operation is expected to last for approximately two to four days. A large column of smoke will be visible from Williams, Parks, Sherwood Forest, Garland Prairie, Whitehorse Lake and the Interstate 40 corridor on Tuesday and Wednesday. 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.
The Russell Prescribed Fire project located approximately 13 miles southeast of Tusayan will also be considered for treatments with possible implementation beginning on Thursday, June 20. The identified area is 2,100 acres and will be completed utilizing ground ignitions. This operation is expected to last for approximately 10-12 days, this may or may not occur concurrently. A column of smoke will be visible from East Rim Drive, Cameron and highway 180 as you approach the Grand Canyon National Park from the east.
Smoke may be highly visible at times from roadways and communities adjacent to these burns. We expect moderate smoke impacts to Whitehorse lake campground Tuesday and Wednesday night. With the forecast and time of year smoke clears by mid-morning each day. Fire managers will actively use methods to reduce smoke production, minimize duration, and reduce exposure to rural communities and travel routes whenever possible.
Record setting moisture levels received on the Kaibab National Forest in 2019 have presented opportunities to implement these treatments in the early summer months this year.
During operations, fire personnel and vehicles working in these vicinities will be visible to the public.
Motorists are reminded to use caution and drive with heightened awareness when passing through active project areas.
Additional fire information for Kaibab National Forest can be obtained at Kaibab South Zone Rx Fire: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5922/