FREDONIA — Pending favorable conditions, North Zone fire managers on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest plan to conduct several hazardous fuels reduction treatments over the next few weeks. Planned operations are outlined below in order of priority; however, changes in weather conditions could change prioritization.
The Jacob Ryan North prescribed burn will impact travelers along Arizona Trail (AZT) Passage #42, located approximately two miles northeast of Jacob Lake. Once ignitions begin, fire managers expect the prescribed fire treatment to last approximately three to four days.
To aid trail users traveling through the impacted portion of the AZT, fire managers will post firefighters at checkpoints on the northern and southern ends of the unit where the trail and the prescribed burn area intersect. Trailguards will also be available to escort individuals as necessary, and reroute maps and signage will be posted.
The AZT reroute will begin tomorrow and remain in effect through the completion of prescribed fire operations on this unit. From the south, the reroute will direct travelers north along Forest Road (FR) 247 for approximately three miles, then east along FR 249C for approximately a half mile where it will intersect with the AZT, at the fire’s northern checkpoint.
In the interest of safety, AZT travelers are asked to obey all signs and follow the reroutes posted.
Additional information for these prescribed fires are provided below in order of priority
Jacob Ryan North Bridge Prescribed (Rx) Fire:
- Purpose: To enhance protection of the human interest and infrastructure within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) and to facilitate restoration of ecosystem structure, function, and resiliency.
- Goals: To protect human life and improvements, expedite the development of Northern goshawk habitat, increase resilience to insects, disease and wildfire, and to increase the overall forest health and sustainability by returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem.
- Location: The project is located north of Highway 89A, south and west of the ponderosa pine, pinyon-juniper transition zone on the north and east end of the district.
- Boundary: FR 247 on the north and west, FR 487 to FR 257 south to Highway 89A to FR 247 on the south, and a series of dozer lines and connecting forest roads on the east.
- Size: 1,806 acres
- Fuel Type: Predominantly ponderosa pine, pinyon pine, juniper and a few scattered clumps of aspen. New Mexico locust and cliff rose can also be found throughout the project area.
Dry Park 422E Prescribed (Rx) Fire:
- Purpose: To expedite the development of northern goshawk habitat and increase landscape resilience to wildfire, insects and disease, and return fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem while also improving forest health and sustainability.
- Goals: To protect human life, improve conditions for natural regeneration of ponderosa pine and douglas fir, stimulate aspen regeneration, and increase the quality and quantity of shrubs and the quantity of pure groups of aspen.
- Location: The project is approximately 18.7 miles south of the Highway 89A and Highway 67 junction at Jacob Lake.
- Boundary: The project is located between FR 422, FR 422E and FR 422D
- Size: 1,226 acres
- Fuel Type: Predominantly mixed conifer and aspen with areas of ponderosa pine.
Moquitch 4 Prescribed (Rx) Fire:
- Purpose: To further expedite the development of northern goshawk habitat and increase landscape resilience to wildfire, insects and disease, and return fire to a fire- adapted ecosystem while also improving forest health and sustainability.
- Goals: To protect human life, use fire to mimic natural fire events in ponderosa pine forests, further expedite development of northern goshawk habitat, reduce accumulations of existing forest fuels, and stimulate aspen regeneration.
- Location: The project is located approximately 6 miles south of Jacob Lake.
- Boundary: FR 217 and dozer line on the east, FR 282 on the west, FR 260 on the north and FR 212 on the south.
- Size: 914 acres
- Fuel Type: Predominantly ponderosa pine with scattered clumps of aspen. Douglas fir, white fir, and some spruce can also be found in some drainage bottoms and on northerly aspects. Gamble oak and New Mexico locust can also be found throughout the project area.
Anticipated Smoke Impacts: During prescribed fire operations, forest visitors may see fire personnel and vehicles in the vicinity of operations. Smoke is expected to be visible from Highway 89A, Highway 67, Marble Canyon and other high-use visitor areas; however, fire managers will strive to minimize smoke impacts to the community as much as possible. Smoke is expected to disperse during the daytime, but residual smoke may settle into drainages and low-lying areas overnight. However, it is expected to dissipate quickly as fire managers will only commence ignitions when conditions exist that will allow smoke to adequately ventilate.
As a reminder, implementation of prescribed fires is dependent on weather and fuel conditions including winds, temperature, humidity, moisture of the vegetation and ventilation conditions for dispersal of smoke, as well as, prior coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorized on any given day, please visit www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.
Prescribed fires are essential tools for restoring the forests in a fire-adapted ecosystem, and smoke is an unavoidable byproduct of these efforts. Prescribed fire operations occur when winds and other atmospheric conditions will push the majority of smoke away from communities and ultimately limit the number of days smoke lingers. For more information on how smoke can affect you, please visit www.phoenixvis.net/PPMmain.aspx.
Notifications of upcoming prescribed burns will be provided regularly throughout the season. Additional information on current and upcoming North Kaibab Ranger District prescribed burns are provided through the following methods: