Kaibab National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Williams, AZ 86046
Fredonia, Ariz., Oct. 23, 2017 — For Immediate Release. Operations on the Tipover East prescribed fire (Tipover Rx) continue to progress within the unit’s predominant first-entry mixed conifer vegetation type. Fire managers estimate that approximately 3,600 acres of hazardous fuels have been treated since the project began last week.
Currently, firefighters have completed black-lining operations along FR 223 to the junction of FR 268 and continued to black line around the North Rim entrance station to help reduce potential daytime smoke impacts to those working, visiting or hunting within the area.
“Observed fire behavior has been up and down,” said Type-1 Tipover East Rx Burn Boss Dave Robinson. “In areas where we have sufficient dead and down fuels, aspen litter and ponderosa pine litter we are observing active fire spread and excellent consumption in the 1000-hour fuels. In other areas, fire behavior has been fairly low-key and very patchy.”
One thousand-hour fuels are 3-to-8 inches in diameter. This information is important to firefighters during implementation as it helps identify current conditions and the likelihood that fire will potentially spread or spot over control lines. Measurement of dead fuels and moisture content are both key to planning and implementing a prescribed fire. To help classify existing conditions within a project area, fire managers will categorize dead fuels into four “time lag” categories: 1-hour, 10-hour, 100-hour, and 1000-hour fuels. The shorter the time lag, the more responsive the fuel is to changing weather conditions, increasing the potential for fire spread and spot fires.
Anticipated operations for the next few days include completing additional black-lining operations within key areas as needed and continuing aerial ignitions along key interior ridge tops and southerly aspects.
“The south facing aspects continue to exhibit the most active fire spread, and we are very pleased with the results so far. We are moving towards meeting our objectives and fire is being returned to a fire-adapted ecosystem,” said Robinson.
Smoke: Smoke production increased significantly over the weekend with diurnal smoke dispersal primarily moving to the south/southwest. Fire managers anticipate smoke impacts to continue to intermittently impact motorists along portions of Highway 89A, Highway 67, Marble Canyon and Grand Canyon National Park.
Safety: During prescribed fires, motorists are cautioned that smoke may be present in short durations, which may impact roads and populated areas. Motorists are reminded to use caution, drive slowly, turn on headlights, and avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel is working.
As a reminder, all prescribed burning is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and appropriate weather conditions. For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorized on any given day, please visit http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.
Fire information: Additional information is made available through the following resources: Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5632/; Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line (928) 635-8311; Text Message – text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404; https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/fire_info.htm.