TUSAYAN — The Mason Fire, a resources benefit fire on the Kaibab National Forest, is transitioning out of an area dominated by ponderosa pine into a portion of the forest that is mainly a pinyon and juniper ecotone, which, according to incident commander Quentin Johnson, will not burn at as rapid a rate or produce as much smoke.
Therefore, fire managers have decided to reduce the amount of firefighters needed to manage the fire, which will be allowed to burn until it reaches the edge of the management area. “The crews will continue with the same tasks, but there are fewer of them needed to manage the fire at this point,” said Johnson.
The 2,570-acre Mason Fire, located 7 miles southeast of the Town of Tusayan and 4 miles south of Grandview Lookout Tower, is the most active of the four lightning-caused wildfires that were included in the Jar Complex to provide ecological and other resource and community protection benefits in the area. The Mason Fire merged with the Old Fire yesterday and will be managed as one fire.
Motorists should continue to practice extra caution on the forest roads in the area of the Mason Fire and when driving highways 64 and 180 during the early morning. Smoke production from the Jar Complex is expected to be lighter over the next few days due to increasing cloud cover and monsoonal activity. However, it may still be visible from Desert View, Cameron, Tusayan, and highways 64 and 180. Overnight and during the early morning hours, smoke has settled closer to Tusayan and south toward Red Butte. However, as the sun warms up the morning air, that smoke has been lifting and dissipating quickly.