Burglary Investigation Leads To Recovery Of Property

FREDONIA – On Sunday September 10th the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a burglary and theft of a generator, tent and two large water containers from a residence in the White Sage area. White Sage is a residential community of about 50 residents in Coconino County approximately 13 miles south of the Town of Fredonia.

A Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputy and the Fredonia Town Marshal responded and conducted an investigation into the incident. The two officers discovered vehicle tracks on the victim’s property and indicators of removal of the property by vehicle. The officers followed the vehicle tracks to a neighboring property where they contacted a male and female. After receiving permission to search for the stolen property all the items were located and recovered. Criminal charges are pending upon the completion of the investigation.

Crews work to “confine, contain” Dog Fire

FREDONIA – Fire crews are currently tending to a new lightning-caused wildfire on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest and are carefully considering a confine and contain management strategy versus direct suppression. This selective strategy minimizes risk and reduces exposure to firefighters. The Dog Fire was reported to fire officials on Friday and is located in some very rough and rugged terrain at approximately 8,200 feet in elevation both within and directly adjacent to Saddle Mountain Wilderness.

Name: Dog Fire
Date Reported: Friday, Aug. 18, 2017
Cause: Lightning
Location: The fire is approximately 4.5 miles northeast of the North Rim Country Store and approximately 18.5 miles south-southeast of Jacob Lake on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.
Expected Actions: The fire is in a confine and contain management strategy and is estimated at 15 acres.
Fuels: It is burning in mixed conifer fuel type and although the area did receive showers throughout the weekend, fire activity varied from low to moderate.
Resources: 1 Type-4 Incident Commander, 1 Type-3 helicopter, 2 Type-3 engines, 1 Type-6 engine and 2 hand crews
Weather Forecast: Fire activity may decrease today as another round of monsoonal showers and storms is forecasted to impact the area today. Storm activity is expected to decrease tomorrow with slightly drier conditions expected throughout the rest of the week.

Additional fire activity updates may be obtained through the following sources:
· Kaibab National Forest Website: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
· InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5524/
· Kaibab National Forest Fire Information phone line: (928) 635-8311
· Text Message – text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404
· Visit us on Facebook and Twitter @KaibabNF

Monsoons keep North Zone firefighters busy as lightning ignites multiple fires in Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon National Park

FREDONIA — For Immediate Release. Within the past week, North Zone fire personnel consisting of firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service have responded jointly to multiple lightning-caused wildfires located on both the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and adjacent North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.

Lightning-caused wildfires are a common occurrence during the monsoon season (typically late-June through late-July). Of the five fires sparked by monsoonal storms this week, two are being suppressed and three are being monitored.

Monitoring a wildfire is a fire management tactic used by fire managers when strategizing an incident response, and contributing factors that help steer this decision-making process are often incident specific. Location, available resources, predicted weather, topography, air quality and predicted fire behavior are all factors that contribute to fire management decisions.

“Each of these fires has received significant monsoonal moisture and are predicted to receive even more throughout the next week,” said North Zone Fire Management Officer Ed Hiatt. “This ebb and flow of monsoonal moisture allows us the necessary time to identify values at risk, assess potential planning area boundaries and gather other intelligence necessary to make sound tactical decisions so that we are ready to respond appropriately once fire activity dictates.”

Fires currently in monitor status are:

· The Haunted wildfire – burning in ponderosa pine fuel type located at the Outlet Peninsula on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The fire is approximately 3 acres in size.
· The Pine Hollow wildfire – burning in ponderosa pine fuel type and debris left from the Pipeline Fire of 2009. The fire is west of Big Springs Field Station in the vicinity of Little Mountain and is approximately 5 acres in size.
· The Crescent wildfire is burning north of the historic Kanabownits Lookout Tower in ponderosa pine and mixed conifer fuel types and is approximately 3 acres in size.

Additional fire activity updates will be provided as new information becomes available, and may be obtained through the following sources:

· Kaibab National Forest Website: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
· Grand Canyon National Park: www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/firemanagement.htm
· Kaibab National Forest Fire Information phone line: (928) 635-8311
· Text Message – text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404
· Twitter: @KaibabNF
· Facebook: @KaibabNF

Tree specialists continue work to restore ponderosa pine on North Kaibab

FREDONIA – Employees on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest have once again partnered with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to plant seedlings in the Warm Fire 2017 planting project at East Lake.

This year’s Warm Fire planting project was completed in the spring with the help of a $54,000 grant from the NFF and the combined efforts of both the USDA Forest Service and Oregon-based contractor GE Forestry. Together, this on-the-ground effort yielded a total of 76,000 ponderosa pine seedlings planted in the 350-acre East Lake project area. It also increased the overall grand total for the Warm Fire reforestation to more than 1.8 million trees planted and certified across 6,100 acres of this multi-phased reforestation effort since planting efforts began in 2008.

This year’s planting project was led by North Kaibab Ranger District Assistant Silviculturist Joseph Varnado and District Silviculturist Garry Domis. This is the sixth such project in the Warm Fire area. All six projects were made possible through more than $440,000 in grants provided to the Kaibab National Forest from the National Forest Foundation, American Forest Foundation, Salt River Project Trees for Change program, and the National Bank of Arizona’s Sustainable Initiatives program.

“The key here is survival. We are planting tomorrow’s future forest,” said Varnado. “So when we’re out here, we are looking for the best possible sites to plant. Sites with the best moisture, with the best shade, and the best protection from the elements so we can enhance the survivability of our investment and protect our future forest.”

An important component crucial to that survivability began in 2009 when cones for the reforestation effort were collected from the North Kaibab and shipped to Lucky Peak Nursery near Boise, Idaho. Seeds are extracted and stored in the forest’s seed bank until needed for a planting project.

By planting seeds harvested from cones collected on the North Kaibab and stored at the nursery, foresters are able to “ensure proper provenance for planting,” said Domis, by planting native trees back into an area when the need arises. “In the forestry world we refer to this collection, storage and planting of seedlings in an area in which they originated as the conservation of genetics,” said North Kaibab District Ranger Randall Walker. “The long-term benefits help ensure provenance and avoid contamination of the genetic pool specific to a particular geographic location and elevational band. This multi-phased conservation effort is important to helping the area recover because it results in the best phenotypic characteristics that stand the best chance of survival.”

According to Walker, some preferred phenotypic traits may include trees with dark-colored green crowns which indicates the best chance to synthesize nutrients; trees with straight form which indicates the best chance to capture sunlight; trees with branch angles that can best adapt to snow loads at a higher elevation versus a lower elevation; or trees without forks, as forked trees are more susceptible to damage by winds at higher elevations.

Regardless of location or vegetation type, foresters can theoretically collect any type of native seed and send to the nursery for storage and future planting projects. Ordering a particular species is as simple as submitting a “sow and grow” request to the nursery.

For this year’s planting project, Domis submitted a request to Lucky Peak Nursery in November 2015. The seeds were then withdrawn from the forest’s seed bank and then sown and grown on site, a process that takes approximately 12 months before the seedlings are ready for selection and shipment to the forest.

Prescribed Fire Update: Forecasted transport winds cause adjustment in today’s operations

FREDONIA – As a result of this morning’s weather forecast, North Zone fire managers elected to adjust the scale and firing plan for today’s prescribed burn on the Jacob Ryan North Basin Unit located just north of Jacob Lake because forecasted transport winds from late morning through evening were predicted to be unfavorable for smoke dispersion.

“Instead of initiating large-scale broadcast burning operations, we focused on conducting a small-scale pile burning operation along portions of the burn unit boundary,” said Burn Boss Dave Robinson. “Northerly transport winds could have resulted in undesirable diurnal smoke impacts to the Jacob Lake Area and Highway 89A.”

Meanwhile, fire managers did successfully conduct pile burning operations, and reduce fuels along portions of the burn unit boundary. Likewise, they reinforced pre-burn preparation activities and observed fire behavior in portions of the burn unit – increasing firefighters’ situational awareness as they prepare to move forward into tomorrow’s planned operations.

Fire managers will re-visit weather conditions again tomorrow morning and move forward with the large-scale broadcast burning operations if air quality and smoke dispersion are favorable for meeting both forest health and public safety goals and objectives. Tomorrow’s weather forecast indicates that transport winds will shift back to a southeast/westerly pattern, which should greatly reduce the potential for diurnal smoke impacts the area.

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/programs/air-quality-programs/smoke-management.

Additional fire information for the Kaibab National Forest can be obtained through the following sources:

  • Fire Information Recorded Hotline: 928-635-8311
  • Find us on Facebook: @KaibabNF
  • Twitter: www.twitter.com/KaibabNF
  • (Text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404 to receive text messages.)
  • Kaibab website “News & Events”: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
  • InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5194/

Prescribed Fire Alert: Fire managers plan burn north of Jacob Lake

FREDONIA – North Zone fire managers plan to conduct a prescribed burn within the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest as early as Thursday, June 1, if weather, fuel moistures, air quality and smoke dispersion remain favorable for meeting both forest health and public safety goals and objectives.

Hand and aerial ignitions on the 3,764-acre unit, approximately 2 miles north of Jacob Lake, could continue for several days depending on forecasted weather, fuel conditions and resource availability. By further reducing accumulated forest fuels that exist in the area, fire managers plan to reduce surface fuel loads within the unit to approximately 5 tons per acre. Currently, fuel loading through much of the Basin Unit can be characterized as moderate with an average of 10-to-15 tons-per-acre across the entire unit, according to North Zone fuels specialist Dave Robinson.

In the interest of both firefighter and public safety, forest visitors are reminded to obey all traffic signs and use caution when traveling in the vicinity of the prescribed fire as firefighters and fire-related traffic will be present, and while winds are expected to disperse the smoke to the north-northeast, motorists are cautioned to anticipate light smoke along Highway 89A throughout the day and settle into lower elevations and drainages overnight through midmorning. However, fire managers will strive to minimize smoke impacts to the community as much as possible, and will only commence ignitions when conditions exist that will allow for adequate ventilation.

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/programs/air-quality-programs/smoke-management.

Additional fire information for the Kaibab National Forest can be obtained through the following sources:

· Fire Information Recorded Hotline: 928-635-8311
· Find us on Facebook: @KaibabNF
· Twitter: www.twitter.com/KaibabNF
· (Text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404 to receive text messages.)
· Kaibab website “News & Events”: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
· InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5194/

North Kaibab Ranger District to open campgrounds on May 15

FREDONIA – Recreational campgrounds on the North Kaibab Ranger District will open May 15 and remain open until Oct. 15.

Both the Jacob Lake campground and the DeMotte campground will be open and available for public recreation and overnight camping. The Jacob Lake campground is located 30 miles southeast of Fredonia, Ariz. on U.S. Route 89A at roughly 7,900 feet. The DeMotte campground is located about 25 miles south of the Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center on Arizona Highway 67 at roughly 8,700 feet.

A complete list of amenities may be found at Recreation.gov by searching for the specific campground. Campers are reminded to be mindful of any rules associated with the campground and always maintain fire safety when making a campfire. To stay current with any fire restrictions in Arizona go to firerestrictions.us/az.

Additionally, the Kaibab Camper Village, which is privately owned and managed but surrounded by Kaibab National Forest, is also scheduled to be open from May 14 through Oct. 15. Kaibab Camper Village offers full RV hookups and tent sites, and is located just 40 miles from the Grand Canyon National Park North Rim. For more information on Kaibab Camper Village, please visit kaibabcampervillage.com or call 928-643-7804.

To make reservations at the Jacob Lake campground or the DeMotte campground, please visit Recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777. For additional information on all of the Kaibab National Forest recreational sites please visit fs.usda.gov/recmain/kaibab/recreation.

Kaibab to conduct Outfitter-Guide Needs Assessment, Capacity Study

FREDONIA – Due to increasing demand and visitor use on the Rainbow Rim Trail continuing to trend upward, recreation planners on the North Kaibab Ranger District will immediately conduct an outfitter-guide needs assessment followed by a capacity analysis to determine use within the vicinity of this increasingly popular recreation site on the Kaibab National Forest.

On Feb. 1, the North Kaibab Ranger District determined the imminent need to place a hold on all “new” special-use permits for all commercial uses on the Rainbow Rim. Under the current Land and Resource Management Plan for the Kaibab National Forest, special-use permits are characterized as a partnership between the Forest Service and private businesses, academia, non-governmental organizations, or individuals in order to provide specific services to the public on forest lands. Authorization of these special-use permits supports the Forest Service mission, helps meet demonstrated public needs, and is consistent with the desired conditions for the use area.

“Our intent is to provide better service to our special-use permit holders and quality experiences for the public,” said North Kaibab Natural Resources Specialist Dan Gunn.

Under the direction of the Recreation Special Uses Handbook, Forest Service policy requires that a needs assessment be conducted to determine the public or agency need for authorized outfitting and guiding activities. The process is anticipated to take up to one year to complete. In the interim, district staff will not process any “new” outfitter-guide applications for use on the Rainbow Rim.

This will not impact operations for outfitters and guides with “existing” permit-use on the Rainbow Rim or any special-use permit holders for activities outside the Rainbow Rim vicinity, and applications for areas outside the Rainbow Rim vicinity will continue to be accepted.

“With a large increase in demand for outfitter and guide requests, we want to exercise our due diligence by re-assessing and identifying visitor needs, determining if current use for the area aligns with desired conditions and adjusting our business model accordingly,” said Gunn. “Upon completion of the capacity study, we will have the most recent data and analysis available, which will help identify a reasonable level of “use” specific to the Rainbow Rim, ensure that “use” aligns with desired conditions of the forest plan, and ensure our recreation partner’s and visitor’s needs are appropriately met while continuing to improve the overall visitor experience.”

Upon completion of the needs assessment and capacity analysis, the data collected will aid recreation planners in drafting a Rainbow Rim management plan intended to tailor a manageable pool of outfitter and guide permit holders specifically tied to the Rainbow Rim, improve management practices and public services local to the area and increase overall quality of the user experience.

For further information, please contact Dan Gunn at degunn@fs.fed.us.

Kaibab National Forest plans pile burn near Jacob Lake

FREDONIA – North Zone fire managers plan to resume pile burning in the vicinity of the Arizona Department of Transportation Maintenance facility near Jacob Lake starting as early as Monday.

Pile burning is one piece of the ongoing hazardous fuels reduction efforts of the Plateau Facilities Fire Protection Project on approximately 5,000 acres surrounding 33 structures across the Kaibab Plateau. Fire managers plan to initially target 25 acres of piles and continue throughout the week as conditions allow.

As a reminder, all prescribed fire activity is dependent on the availability of personnel and equipment, weather and fuel conditions, including winds, temperature, humidity, vegetation moisture and ventilation conditions for dispersal of smoke. All prescribed fires are subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. For additional information on the Smoke Management Division and to view prescribed burn authorizations for any given day, visit http://www.azdeq.gov/programs/air-quality-programs/smoke-management.

In the interest of safety, visitors are reminded to always use caution when traveling in the vicinity of prescribed fires, as firefighters, fire-related traffic and smoke may all be present. Although no significant smoke impacts are expected, visitors should always be cautious when driving in the vicinity of emergency vehicles operating in the area.

As the prescribed burn season continues through the spring, notifications of upcoming prescribed fires will be provided regularly through the following sources:

· Fire Information Recorded Hotline: 928-635-8311
· Twitter: www.twitter.com/KaibabNF (Text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404 to receive text messages.)
· Kaibab website “Recent News”: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
· Kaibab Facebook: www.facebook.com/KaibabNF

ADEQ Air Quality Control Permits Energy Fuels Resources Inc.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued Air Quality Permit Nos. 62877, 62878, and 63895 to Energy Fuels Resources (USA), Inc. for the Canyon, EZ, and Arizona 1 uranium mines on Oct. 13, 2016.

The EZ and Arizona 1 mines are located north of Grand Canyon National Park, and approximately 35 southwest of Fredonia, and the Canyon mine is located south of Grand Canyon National Park and approximately 6.5 miles southeast of Tusayan.

Visit ADEQ’s website to view the final permit documents and response to public comments by clicking this link: http://azdeq.gov/EnergyFuelsRes.