TUSAYAN — The Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest is managing the Jar Complex fires in order to improve forest health and meet other natural resource objectives.
The Jar Complex is made up of three separate fires, the largest being the 16-acre Mason Fire located just southwest of Camp 36 Tank about 4 miles south of Grandview Lookout Tower. The other two fires comprising the Jar Complex are the Lost and Shale fires, each about one-tenth of an acre in size. The Lost Fire is located about 6 miles south of Tusayan, a quarter mile east of Highway 64, and 5 miles north of Red Butte. The Shale Fire is about a mile southeast of the Lost Fire just west of the junction of forest roads 2703 and 2703A.
The planning area within which the Jar Complex fires will be managed is about 18,600 acres in size. Much of the area is ponderosa pine forest that has seen various forms of treatment over the last several years from other managed fires, prescribed burns and various kinds of mechanical treatments.
While the Tusayan Ranger District has received some light precipitation over the last few days, growth potential for the fires, especially the Mason Fire, remains high. Fire managers expect the Mason Fire to continue relatively rapid growth over the next few days, so smoke will be visible from Tusayan, Highway 64, Grand Canyon National Park and Highway 180. Smoke is expected to be pushed toward the northeast due to prevailing winds, so it could also be visible from Cameron and Tuba City.
Goals of managing the Jar Complex for resource benefit include reducing fuel accumulations, improving wildlife habitat, restoring fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem, and enhancing overall forest health.
“These fires are excellent candidates for managing to achieve resource objectives due to their locations and the fire effects we are seeing so far,” said Josh Miller, fuels assistant fire management officer for the Tusayan Ranger District. “Despite a little bit of rain, the Mason Fire remains active on all sides, and we expect it to grow tens to hundreds of acres over the next few days.”
The forest service is currently managing the Locust Fire treating 3227-acres. They are also managing the Smith Fire near Love’s and the Keyhole fire north of Keyhole Sink.
All fires are natural caused.