Grand Canyon, AZ – Grand Canyon National Park fire managers continue to treat the Long Jim Prescribed Fire unit, as weather and fuel moisture conditions allow. On Tuesday, June 18, 2019, crews successfully treated 180 acres. “The success of this burn will increase visitor safety and improve forest ecology for years to come,” said Burn Boss Mike Lewelling.
Fire managers plan to ignite an additional 1,500 acres by helicopter. The additional acreage will produce heavy smoke along Highway 64 East which may impact traffic. Visitors can expect to experience delays and temporary road closures, which may require a pilot car to lead alternating traffic. Please drive slowly, turn your lights on, avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel are working, and follow directions of signs and personnel.
Smoke will be visible from various locations on the North and South rims, including Grand Canyon Village, Tusayan, Desert View, and most overlooks. Fire managers are working with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality-Smoke Management Division to reduce and mitigate potential smoke impacts.
Prescribed fires play an important role in decreasing risks to life, resources, and property. Fire managers carefully plan prescribed fires, initiating them only under environmental conditions that are favorable to assuring firefighter and visitor safety and to achieving the desired objectives. Prescribed fire objectives include reducing accumulations of hazard fuels, maintaining the natural role of fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, and protection of sensitive natural and cultural resources.
The Long Jim Prescribed Fire is adjacent to the developed area on the South Rim, east of South Entrance Road and south of Highway 64 (Desert View Drive) East. Comprised of pinyon, juniper, and ponderosa pine, the treatment unit is 2,849 acres in size. Objectives specific to the Long Jim Prescribed Fire include improving the defensible space in the wildland/urban interface (WUI) within the South Rim developed area, returning fire to a fire adapted ecosystem, and reducing fuel loads.
During the Long Jim Prescribed Fire, Arizona Trail hikers must detour around the fire on the Greenway west of Highway 64 to a power line corridor southeast of the Grand Canyon Visitor Center (GCVC). At the power line corridor, the detour will continue east along the corridor until it reconnects with the Arizona Trail. Duck on a Rock overlook will also be temporarily closed while crews are working in the area.
Please visit https://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm for information about the Long Jim Prescribed Fire or call 928-638-7819 for recorded fire information. For additional daily updates and photos, visit Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov.