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.

Kaibab National Forest seeks input on proposed wildlife viewing area

Northern leopard frogs with egg masses. (Kaibab National Forest Photo)

WILLIAMS – The Kaibab National Forest is seeking public input on a proposed project to construct a pond for the northern leopard frog as well as a larger wildlife viewing area on the grounds of the Williams Ranger District compound. The goals of the project are to increase the viable habitat for the frog and to provide the community with the opportunity to learn about conservation issues.

The project would include the pond that would serve as a habitat and source population for the northern leopard frogs, a pollinator garden to attract pollinator species, interpretive signs, and an Americans with Disabilities Act-approved trail, all of which are intended to enhance public education and recreation experiences.

The Kaibab National Forest is within the natural historic range of the northern leopard frog, which spans the northern and central portions of Arizona. Leading biologists have noted the species is undergoing significant declines in the southwestern United States. Factors like the presence of invasive species and infection by fungal diseases have contributed to the loss of northern leopard frog populations in Arizona, but no stressing factor is more prevalent than the loss of suitable wetland habitat.

The northern leopard frog, which was considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act in 2011, was identified and listed as a Forest Service Sensitive Species by the Regional Forester in 2013. This means that it is a species for which population viability is a concern. The Arizona Game and Fish Department has also prioritized the northern leopard frog as a Tier 1A species, which categorizes it into the highest priority for conservation management and considers it to be a species of greatest conservation need.

The Kaibab National Forest has a history of working with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conserve existing and attempt to establish new populations of northern leopard frogs on both the Williams and North Kaibab districts of the forest.

The Clover Pond Wildlife Habitat Project Proposed Action is available on the Kaibab National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51795. Members of the public are invited to provide their comments through Aug. 21. To submit e-comments, please email comments-southwestern-kaibab-williams@fs.fed.us. For hard copy mailed or hand delivered comments, please deliver them to the Williams Ranger District office at 742 S. Clover Road, Williams, AZ 86046 during office hours Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information on the project, please contact Travis Largent, wildlife biologist, at (928) 635-5600.

Bradshaw Ranger District reports some success in Goodwin Fire

PRESCOTT – The 25,714 acre Goodwin Fire centered 14 miles south of Prescott is 44% contained as of today. The fire started June 24 at about 4 P.M. and the cause of the fire is under investigation. Some evacuations have been lifted.

Fire crews constructed a large amount of fireline yesterday in a critical part of the fire on top of Big Bug Mesa. After reviewing the day’s accomplishment, Operations Section Chief, Todd Abel, said “We are setup for success”.

Bulldozers will continue to create contingency firelines north of the fire, today, in order to protect Dewey in the event the fire moves across existing firelines.

Crews will continue mopping up where the fire burned along the SR69 side of the fire. Firefighters will also start rehabilitating firelines and removing equipment in areas where the fire has been contained. Crews will be patrolling these areas of the fire and will remain in place to protect Breezy Pine Canyon and Pine Flat.

Slightly stronger winds from the southwest are expected today. The fire continues to move very slowly into sparse vegetation located in an old fire scar. The fire only grew by 472 acres yesterday.

As of 10 a.m. this morning, evacuation orders were lifted for Blue Hills and Upper Blue Hills where power has been restored. The evacuation of Dewey/Humboldt all areas west of SR 69 south to mile post 280 has also been lifted, but west Poland Junction remains under evacuation. The Blue Hills/Upper Blue Hills area has fire suppression sprinklers that were installed by firefighters in various portions of the community. Please keep these areas clear and allow fire officials access to do their work.

SR 69 – west side from Grapevine Road north to Milepost 280, Poland Junction- west side, Pine Flat, Breezy Pines, Walker, Potato Patch, Mount Union, Mountain Pine Acres still remains under mandatory evacuation.

Although some evacuations have been lifted and roads reopened, property owners are urged to remain vigilant and monitor fire news. There is still active fire behavior, particularly in the northern portion of the fire, and conditions can change easily if impacted by high wind events. For additional information regarding evacuations and pre-evacuations please call the Yavapai County Emergency Operation Center at (928) 442-5103, 7am – 7pm.

Boundary Fire smoke enters Williams area

WILLIAMS – Smoke from the Boundary Fire entered Williams creating a slight haze over the area. The forest service issued an advisory for parts of Flagstaff, Bellemont, Parks and Williams.
Coconino County health issued a release advising that smoke from wildfires in Northern Arizona and in Southern Utah continues to affect several communities in Coconino County. County health officials are encouraging individuals to take precautions to protect themselves from health effects of wildfire smoke.

Wildfire smoke is a mixture of small particles, gases and water vapor. The primary health concern is the small particles. Not everyone who is exposed to smoke will have health problems. Many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke. These factors include the level, extent, and duration of exposure, age, and individual susceptibility.

Anyone who can see, taste or smell smoke should curtail outdoor activity. People with heart disease, lung disease or asthma should avoid the outdoors entirely, as should children and the elderly.

Boundary Fire Suppression Repair Needs Assessed

WILLIAMS – On Wednesday crews worked to secure control lines and patrol for hotspots along the perimeter. An assessment of suppression repair needs has begun. Suppression repair will include the construction of water bars to divert the flow of water away from fire lines during rainstorms, the felling of hazard trees, the repair of roads and trails where they were used as part of the control line and the repair of fences where they were cut to allow access to crews and equipment during suppression operations.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect today due to low humidity, high temperatures and strong winds. Due to the increased fire danger, the Coconino National Forest will move into Stage II fire restrictions at 8 am today.

The winds are expected to pick up today moving smoke around the north side of the San Francisco Peaks where it will then travel east. Smoke is expected to be most noticeable to the south of Grey Mountain and north of Timberline/Doney Park.

Crews make significant progress in suppressing wildfire near Tusayan

Crews made significant progress last night in suppressing the 151-acre Rain Fire located about 5 miles southwest of the Town of Tusayan on the Kaibab National Forest.

Incident commander Quentin Johnson said the wildfire, which is burning in pinyon-juniper woodlands, is now 40 percent contained after retardant drops yesterday and the construction of hand and dozer line late into last night.

Resources assigned today include three 20-person hand crews, three engines, a dozer, a water tender and several individual fire personnel for a total of about 80 people. With winds predicted to be out of the west and gusts up to 30 mph in the forecast today, fire personnel will focus on enhancing established containment lines especially on the east flank to try to prevent the wildfire from spreading.

Smoke from the Rain Fire has diminished significantly since yesterday, but it may still be visible from Grand Canyon Airport, Grand Canyon National Park, Highway 64, and the Town of Tusayan. Grand Canyon National Park remains open.

No structures are threatened. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Kaibab National Forest and Grand Canyon National Park fire resources responding to wildfire near Tusayan

Kaibab National Forest and Grand Canyon National Park fire resources are responding to a wildfire located southwest of Grand Canyon Airport on the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest. The Rain Fire is about 150 acres in size and is being suppressed by aerial and ground firefighting resources.

Resources responding include an air attack platform, one air tanker, two single engine air tankers, one helicopter, three engines, one dozer, and three 20-person hand crews.

The wildfire is burning in pinyon-juniper woodlands and is creating smoke visible from Grand Canyon National Park, Highway 64, and the Town of Tusayan.

No structures are threatened. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Grand Canyon National Park remains open.

United Pet Group Expands Voluntary Recall of Multiple Brands of Rawhide Chew Products for Dogs

United Pet Group, a division of Spectrum Brands, Inc. is voluntarily expanding its recall of multiple brands of packages of rawhide dog chew products to include our retail partners’ private label brands. The recall involves the brands and products described below.

United Pet Group previously initiated a voluntary recall of its branded products on 6/10/17 which included the following brands: American Beefhide, Digest-eeze, and Healthy Hide (including Healthy Hide – Good -n- Fun and Healthy Hide – Good -n- Fit).

The recall was initiated after  United Pet Group identified that certain of its rawhide chew manufacturing facilities located in Mexico and Colombia, as well as one of its suppliers in Brazil, were using a quaternary ammonium compound mixture as a processing aid in the manufacturing of rawhide chews. The compound is an anti-microbial chemical that is approved for cleaning food processing equipment, but it has not been approved in the U.S. as a processing aid in the production of rawhide chews for dogs.

United Pet Group received very limited reports of pet illness based on the volume of possibly affected rawhide chew products manufactured and distributed. The primary complaint received from consumers was that the affected product had an unpleasant odor. Diarrhea and vomiting were also reported.

Exposure to quaternary ammonium compounds through direct ingestion may cause the following symptoms in dogs: reduced appetite and gastric irritation, including diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms may require treatment by a veterinarian depending on severity.

The affected product was distributed nationwide from United Pet Group’s Edwardsville, Illinois distribution facility and was delivered to consumers through various retail establishments, including online outlets. All of the dog chew products included in the voluntary recall identify an expiration date ranging from 06/01/2019 through 5/31/2020 located on the  back of the package with the exception of the Enzadent and Dentahex products which are listed by UPC codes below and specific expiration dates outlined below.

The private label products subject to the recall are described below.

Private Label Product Brands Private Label Product Names and Identifying Information
Companion United Pet Group is recalling certain packages of dog chews with the Companion brand on the label.

This recall is limited to dog chew products that contain rawhide. Only products with lot codes listed on the back of the package that start with AH, AV, A, AI, AO, or AB and which list expiration dates from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 are affected by this recall. This includes all package sizes and/or weights. The following contact information appears on the back of the package of the affected products:

Distributed by FOODHOLD U.S.A., LLC LANDOVER, MD 20785 1-877-846-9946

Dentley’s United Pet Group is recalling certain packages of dog chews with the Dentley’s brand on the label.

This recall is limited to dog chew products that contain rawhide. Only products with lot codes listed on the back of the package that start with AH, AV, A, AI, AO, or AB and which list expiration dates from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 are affected by this recall. This includes all package sizes and/or weights. The following contact information appears on the back of the package of the affected products:

Pacific Coast Distributing, Inc. 19601 N. 27th Ave. Phoenix, AZ USA 85027

Enzadent or Dentahex United Pet Group is recalling certain packages of dog chews with the Enzadent/Dentahex brand on the label.

This recall is limited to dog chew products that contain rawhide. Only products with the below listed UPC codes printed on the back of the package and which list expiration dates from 06/01/2021 through 05/31/2022 are affected by this recall. The following contact information appears on the back of the package of the affected products:

ENZADENT CHIPS MED 30 CT            17030030181
ENZADENT CHIPS PETITE 30 CT        17030030167
ENZADENT CHIPS SM 30 CT               17030030174
ENZADENT CHIPS LG 30 CT               17030030198
DENTAHEX CHIPS PETITE 30 CT       17030030228
DENTAHEX CHIPS SM 30 CT              17030030235
DENTAHEX CHIPS MED 30 CT            17030030242
DENTAHEX CHIPS LG 30 CT               17030030259

Manufactured for Vetoquinol USA Inc. Ft. Worth, TX USA 76137

Essential Everyday United Pet Group is recalling certain packages of dog chews with the Essential Everyday brand on the label.

This recall is limited to dog chew products that contain rawhide. Only products with lot codes listed on the back of the package that start with AH, AV, A, AI, AO, or AB and which list expiration dates from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 are affected by this recall. This includes all package sizes and/or weights. The following contact information appears on the back of the package of the affected products:

Distributed by SUPERVALU INC. EDEN PRAIRIE, MN 55344 USA

Exer-Hides United Pet Group is recalling certain packages of dog chews with the Exer-Hides brand on the label.

This recall is limited to dog chew products that contain rawhide. Only products with lot codes listed on the back of the package that start with AH, AV, A, AI, AO, or AB and which list expiration dates from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 are affected by this recall. This includes all package sizes and/or weights. The following contact information appears on the back of the package of the affected products:

Distributed by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Bentonville, AR 72716

Good Lovin’ or Petco United Pet Group is recalling certain packages of dog chews with the Good Lovin’ or Petco brand on the label.

This recall is limited to dog chew products that contain rawhide. Only products with lot codes listed on the back of the package that start with AH, AV, A, AI, AO, or AB and which list expiration dates from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 are affected by this recall. This includes all package sizes and/or weights. The following contact information appears on the back of the package of the affected products:

Distributed by: International Pet Supplies and Distribution, Inc. San Diego, CA 92121

Hill Country Fare United Pet Group is recalling certain packages of dog chews with the Hill Country Fare brand on the label.

This recall is limited to dog chew products that contain rawhide. Only products with lot codes listed on the back of the package that start with AH, AV, A, AI, AO, or AB and which list expiration dates from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 are affected by this recall. This includes all package sizes and/or weights. The following contact information appears on the back of the package of the affected products:

Distributed by H-E-B San Antonio, TX 78204

Priority Pet United Pet Group is recalling certain packages of dog chews with the Priority brand on the label.

This recall is limited to dog chew products that contain rawhide. Only products with lot codes listed on the back of the package that start with AH, AV, A, AI, AO, or AB and which list expiration dates from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 are affected by this recall. This includes all package sizes and/or weights. The following contact information appears on the back of the package of the affected products:

Distributed by Lucerne North America LLC
P.O. Box 99
Pleasanton, CA 94566-0009
1-866-578-4395

Consumers who have purchased the products described above are urged to dispose of the product or return it directly to United Pet Group or to the retail establishment where they initially purchased the product for full refund. Please see brand logos below which will assist in identifying affected products.

We take our responsibility to pets and their owners seriously and we are continuing to investigate the cause of this problem. We are implementing changes across  the  affected manufacturing facilities in order to prevent this problem from reoccurring in the future. United Pet Group is also working with retailers to ensure that the affected products are no longer sold and removed from inventory.

If you have these products, please contact the United Pet Group consumer affairs team at 1-855-215-4962 between the hours of 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time for a refund.

Firefighters Make a Big Stride in Boundary Fire Containment

WILLIAMS – Monday afternoon, forecasted isolated thunderstorms brought gusty winds and light precipitation to the Boundary Fire. Crews made a big stride today securing private property parcels and fire lines which increased containment from 18% to 30%. Cloud cover and increased relative humidity allowed fire to move along the ground, promoting healthy consumption of dead and down fuel returning nutrients to the soil.

In the morning, minimal but noticeable smoke may impact the following communities of Flagstaff, Baderville, Tuba City, Cameron, Timberline/Doney Park, and Bellemont. Smoke will disperse east of Flagstaff towards Leupp and hazy smoke will be drifting near Doney Park and Timberline as temperatures increase throughout the day. For more information on smoke and air quality, visit www.azdeq.gov.

Smoke will continue to impact US 180, especially at night. US 180 has reopened north of Flagstaff between mileposts 236 and 248 after visibility along the highway has increased due to reduced smoke impact from the Boundary Fire, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Though the road is open for travel, there will be lower speed limits through the affected area as firefighting operations continue and personnel and equipment enter and exit the highway. While the smoke impact has lessened enough to safely reopen US 180, ADOT personnel will continue to monitor visibility conditions along the highway.

US 89 remains open and may see light smoke impacts during the day. Interstate 40 may experience impacts in the evening and at night. The forest service advises drivers slow down and use caution when driving through these areas.