Kaibab National Forest preps for prescribed burns
WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Fire managers on Kaibab National Forest (KNF) are planning for the 2021 fall and 2022 spring prescribed fire burning season expected to begin this month.
A final decision on which units will be ignited will be made based on environmental conditions, resource availability, fuel moisture levels, air quality and forecast weather as outlined in the prescribed fire plan.
The following project areas are planned for treatments on the Tusayan and Williams Ranger Districts:
• Three Sisters Rx Project: Just north of the city Williams, approximately 4,000 acres
• Marteen Rx Project: 5 miles northwest of Spring Valley, approximately 4,700 acres
• Round Rx Project: 10 miles south of Williams east of Vista Point, approximately 5,000 acres
• Reed Rx Project: South and northeast of Tusayan, approximately 6,600 acres.
• Russell Rx Project: Southeast of Tusayan, approximately 1,000 acres.
• Blue Stem Rx Project: Southeast corner of Tusayan District, approximately 7,700 acres.
On the North Kaibab Ranger District and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, the Forest Service and National Park Service operate as a single, interagency fire program referred to as the “North Zone” that is responsible for all fires on National Forest and National Park lands.
The following projects areas are planned for treatments on the North Kaibab Ranger District (NKRD) and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA):
• Big Ridge East Rx Project (NKRD): 2 miles east of Jacob Lake, 472 acres.
• Buffalo Hill Rx Project (NKRD): 1 mile SE of Jacob Lake, 4,519 acres.
• Road Hollow North Rx Project (NKRD): 9 miles S of Big Springs, 1,739 acres.
• Road Hollow South Rx Project (NKRD): 9 miles S of Big Springs, 2,281 acres.
• Big Saddle Rx Project (NKRD): 1/2 mile north of Crazy Jug, 957 acres.
• Dry Park Tower Rx Project (NKRD): 3 miles west of DeMotte, 1,400 acres.
• Dry Park Blowdown Rx Project (NKRD): 3 miles west of DeMotte, 1,400 acres.
• Dry Park Lakes Rx Project (NKRD): 3 miles west of DeMotte, 4,067 acres.
• North Ridge Heavies Rx Project (GRCA): along Kaibab NF boundary, 50+ acres.
• Slopes Rx Project (GRCA): west of North Entrance Station, 500+ acres.
• Harvey Meadow Rx Project (GRCA): north of Grand Canyon Lodge, 43 acres
Fire plays a beneficial role in maintaining the ecological stability of many landscapes including the Kaibab National Forest. Managers use prescribed fire as a practical means to reduce risks associated with uncharacteristic wildfires that can pose significant threats to public health and safety.
The Forest Service’s land management strategy is centered on long-term forest health, which includes reducing forest fuels and using prescribed fire on the landscape. A healthy forest is a resilient forest that undergoes fire occurrences on a regular basis.
Kaibab National Forest works with partners, collaborators, and communities to clearly identify objectives and address concerns during the planning process for prescribed fires.
Officials recognize that impacts to air quality may be unpleasant at times, however they can significantly reduce the amount and limit the duration of smoke more effectively using prescribed methods than in an uncontrolled wildfire situation. Additionally, fire managers will actively monitor atmospheric conditions daily and use strategies to minimize smoke impacts to rural developed areas.
During operations, fire personnel and vehicles working in these vicinities will be visible to the public. Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened caution when passing through active project areas.
Individual news releases will be forthcoming throughout the season, detailing specific information about each burn.
All prescribed burning on Kaibab National Forest is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).
More information about the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burn authorizations is available at legacy.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html
Information provided by Kaibab National Forest