North Kaibab Ranger District to host Holiday Open House

FREDONIA – The North Kaibab Ranger District will soon host a Holiday Open House at the Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center at Jacob Lake on Saturday, November 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be holiday music, cider and treats available for all ages, ornament decorating activity for families, and of course tree permits for sale.

As a reminder, the Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center will be open for Christmas tree tag sales from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 18 to 19 and November 25 to 26.

Christmas tree tags may also be purchased at the district office in Fredonia from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. In addition to the normal district office hours, Christmas tree tags may also be purchased from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on two Saturdays, November 25 and December 2. Please bring cash or check for North Kaibab Ranger District Christmas tree tag purchases.

For more information, call (928) 643-7395.

Fire Managers to Continue Hazardous Fuels Treatments at Moquitch

FREDONIA – U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service fire managers, working together as the North Zone Interagency Fire Management Program, plan to initiate the Moquitch-3 prescribed burn unit as early as Tuesday if weather, resources, and fuel moisture conditions remain favorable to assuring firefighter and visitor safety, while still achieving the desired objectives outlined during the planning process.

As anticipated conditions fall within prescriptive parameters over the weekend, firefighters will focus on treating approximately 2,000 acres on the east portion of the Moquitch-3 prescribed burn unit.

Additional details are as follows:

Fuels: The Moquitch 3 prescribed burn unit consists of vegetation that is predominantly ponderosa pine with scattered clumps of aspen and patches of New Mexico locust.

Location: The unit is located about 6 miles south of Jacob Lake.

Objectives: Reduce accumulations of hazardous fuels down to 5 tons-per-acre and stimulating aspen regeneration in areas where mature clones exist.

Smoke: Smoke impacts may include Jacob Lake, AZ Highway 67, AZ Highway 89A and forest roads directly along the burn unit boundary (see map for details).

Safety: During prescribed fires, motorists are cautioned that smoke may be present in short durations, which may impact roads and populated areas. Motorists are reminded to use caution, drive slowly, turn on headlights, and avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel is working.

As a reminder, all prescribed burning is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and appropriate weather conditions. For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorized on any given day, please visit http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.

Fire information: Additional information is made available through the following resources: Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5632/; Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line (928) 635-8311; Text Message – text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404; https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/fire_info.htm.

Kaibab National Forest to implement large grassland restoration project

WILLIAMS – The Kaibab National Forest will soon be able to begin implementation of a large-scale grassland restoration project across the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts thanks to a decision signed today by District Ranger Danelle D. Harrison.

The South Zone Grassland Restoration Project will implement thinning, prescribed fire and other activities to restore the structure and function of grassland and pinyon-juniper grassland, also referred to as savanna, ecosystems in an effort to improve their resilience to disturbance and changing climate regimes.

Specifically, Harrison’s decision allows for a combination of commercial and non-commercial mechanical treatments as well as prescribed fire on approximately 80,000 acres of grasslands and 63,000 acres of pinyon-juniper grasslands within the 550,000-acre project area, which covers large portions of both the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts of the Kaibab National Forest. These areas represent historical occurrences of grasslands and pinyon-juniper grasslands on the South Zone.

As part of these treatments, conifers – primarily juniper – will be selectively removed using mechanical means or hand thinning. Additionally, thinning will be used to restore connectivity between grassland habitats for wildlife species such as pronghorn antelope. Broadcast and pile burning will be used where necessary to reduce fuel loading, control regeneration of conifers, and promote understory plant vigor.The decision includes a number of other provisions including collaborating with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to both install wildlife waters in strategic locations to encourage the movement of ungulates and other wildlife species and to translocate populations of Gunnison prairie dogs to serve their role as a keystone species in grassland ecosystems and assist with the mixing of soil contents.

The purpose of this project is to restore the structure and function of the South Zone’s grasslands and pinyon-juniper grasslands by reducing tree densities, reestablishing natural fire regimes, and promoting grassland-associated wildlife species. As a result of historical livestock grazing, fire suppression, changes in wildlife populations, and climate change, these areas have experienced substantial encroachment and infilling by woody species over the last century. This has reduced habitat quality and connectivity, and impacted nutrient cycling and water availability.

“This decision is significant due to the important ecological role that grasslands play,” Harrison said. “We recognize the value of these ecosystems, and we also recognize that they have been greatly altered over the past century. The South Zone Grassland Restoration Project will help set us on a course to functioning, healthy grasslands that can support a variety of species.”

To review all analysis and documentation associated with the South Zone Grassland Restoration Project including the Final Environmental Assessment, a Final Finding of No Significant Impact, and a Final Decision Notice, please visit the Kaibab National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=44132.

Members of the public can find additional information on the Kaibab National Forest through the following sources:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/KaibabNF (Text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404 to receive text messages.)
Kaibab website: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
Kaibab Facebook: www.facebook.com/KaibabNF

Wildhorse Rx Complete

FREDONIA – – For Immediate Release. Ignition operations on the Wildhorse prescribed fire (Wildhorse Rx) were completed today. As a result, smoke from the prescribed burn is expected to result in more favorable smoke dispersion over the weekend. Fire managers estimate that approximately 2,813 acres of hazardous fuels have been treated since the project began this week on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.

Over the weekend, resources will remain onsite and continue to monitor and patrol the Wildhorse and Tipover East prescribed fire projects.

Fire managers anticipate smoke impacts to lessen over the communities in Marble Canyon and Page, AZ, and traffic directly adjacent to the Wildhorse Rx Unit. Motorists are asked to remain cautious when traveling in and around these prescribed burn units, Arizona Highways 89A and 67 as smoke may intermittently impact these areas. Visitors are reminded to use caution, drive slowly, turn on headlights, and avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel is working.

Williams Ranger District nears completion of Green Base Prescribed Fire project

WILLIAMS – Unseasonably warm and dry weather conditions in northern Arizona have presented a unique opportunity for Fire Managers on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest to successfully treat just under 9000 acres of densely forested area with prescribed fire over the month of October.

The Green Base Prescribed Fire project which is 9836 acres in size is nearly complete and officials expect to finish the final two blocks totaling 769 acres in one more day of ignitions.

The Kaibab National Forest is actively working to restore the historic fire regime of frequent, low-to-moderate intensity fires on the local landscape. Prescribed fires are conducted to consume accumulated build ups of forest litter and debris that can pose an imminent threat to adjacent communities. There are a number of additional benefits which include protection of wildlife habitat, historic heritage sites, large old growth timber stands, watersheds and infrastructure that fall within the urban interface where human development meets the forest.

“We fully recognize that smoke impacts can be unpleasant for residents in the vicinity of these burns” said Jeremy Human South Zone Fire Management Officer. “Managing smoke is often our biggest challenge during these type of operations and we are constantly adjusting our methods to decrease exposure. Burn days are specifically chosen by forecasted wind patterns that maximize ventilation away from residential areas. Attempting to manage smoke during an uncontrolled wildfire event can be impossible at times. Overall we feel we achieved that goal significantly reducing the number of days people actually experienced smoke along travel corridors and in their neighborhoods.”

Forest Officials want to thank residents for their continued support of this critical work being done. Public Safety and health remain a top priority and public concerns are always taken very seriously.

All prescribed burning on the Kaibab National Forest is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorizations, please visit www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html. Additional fire information for Kaibab National Forest can be obtained through the following sources: InciWeb inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5160/ Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line (928) 635-8311; Text Message – text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404.

Forest Service hiring for temporary positions for 2018 field season

From November 1-9, the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, will be accepting applications for temporary spring and summer jobs in Arizona and New Mexico.

More information on temporary employment in the Forest Service’s Southwestern Region can be found at Centralized Temporary Hiring Outreach, including a link to the 2018 Outreach Notice with job listings for the Southwestern Region.

Applications must be submitted on www.USAJOBS.gov. Interested applicants are encouraged to create a profile within USAJOBS prior to the open vacancy announcement period.

Positions in the Southwestern Region of the Forest Service are available in multiple fields, including wildland fire, engineering, visitor services, archaeology, recreation management, timber management, range management, wildlife program management, business management, and other fields in natural resource management.

Positions will be filled at various locations within any of the 11 national forests in Arizona and New Mexico and the three national grasslands in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and west Texas.

To learn more about national forests and national grasslands in the agency’s Southwestern Region, please visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/r3.

The Forest Service is an equal opportunity employer. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

Favorable Conditions Allow Fire Managers to Continue Operations on North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park

GRAND CANYON – National Park Service (NPS) and US Forest Service (USFS) fire managers, working together as the North Zone Interagency Fire Management Program, anticipate initiating more prescribed fire (Rx) treatments this week as weather and fuel moisture conditions allow on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

Prescribed fires play an important role in decreasing risks to life, resources, and property. Fire managers carefully plan prescribed fires, initiating them only under environmental conditions that are favorable to assuring firefighter and visitor safety and to achieving the desired objectives.

Thompson Rx: Fire managers anticipate igniting up to 2,000 acres of the Thompson Rx unit. The unit is located on the east side of Arizona Highway 67, directly east of the North Rim entrance station, and adjacent to the northern boundary of the Park and Forest Service Road 610. The Thompson Rx unit is predominantly spruce, fir, and aspen, with some large ponderosa pine and small grassy meadows.

Specific objectives for the Thompson Rx include reducing dead and downed woody fuels, reducing potential future fire behavior, returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem, preventing adverse impacts to cultural and natural resources, aiding in the preservation of historic structures and archaeological sites, and protecting species habitat.

High Severity Edge Rx: The High Severity Edge Rx is in primarily ponderosa pine forest on the Walhalla Plateau, west of Cape Royal Road. Fire managers plan to treat approximately 500 acres this season. This protection project is a third-entry treatment for an area that recently had wildfires – the 2009 Aspen Fire and the 2001 Vista Fire. A specific objective of this Rx is to limit new high severity fires on the Walhalla Plateau.

Tipover East Rx Update: Fire managers completed ignitions on the Tipover East Rx and will transition operations to a Type-3 Incident Commander tomorrow. Anticipated operations on Tipover are to hold and patrol, and at least two engine crews will remain on site to monitor fire behavior within the unit. Specific objectives include reducing accumulations of hazardous fuels and protecting sensitive cultural and natural resources.

North Rim Slopes Rx Update: Fire managers treated approximately 800 acres yesterday within the North Rim Slopes Rx and plan to treat an additional 800 acres next week if conditions are conducive to safely do so. Specific objectives include reducing accumulations of hazardous fuels by 25 percent and returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem.

Smoke Impacts: Smoke will be visible from various locations on the North and South rims, and Arizona Highways 64, 67 and 89A. Smoke may impact traffic and may also be present in the inner canyon and on the section of Arizona Trail near the Thompson Rx. If necessary, pilot car operations will be used on FR 610. Motorists are cautioned to please drive slowly with lights on, avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel is working, and follow directions of signs and personnel. Fire managers are working with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality-Smoke Management Division to reduce and mitigate potential smoke impacts.

Northern Arizona federal land managers invite public to community conversation event

FLAGSTAFF — Federal land managers with the Forest Service, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management invite the public to attend a community conversation next week as part of an ongoing effort to connect with the public and hear first-hand what people value about their public lands.

In partnership with the Museum of Northern Arizona, this event will be held in Flagstaff in the Branigar Hall at the Museum of Northern Arizona from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Seating is limited to 60-70 people at this free community event, so please register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/NAZ-Fed-Land-Conversation or calling (928) 774-5213.

The following federal land managers will be in attendance and look forward to interacting with the public:

– Coconino National Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West,
– Kaibab National Forest Supervisor Heather Provencio,
– Flagstaff Area National Monuments Superintendent Kayci Cook Collins,
– Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Chris Lehnertz, and
– BLM Phoenix District Manager Leon Thomas.

The Land Managers will provide updates –

· What has happened since the first Community Conversation in May 2017?
· Land Managers and Project Specialists will provide information and take your comments on federal land management projects in Northern Arizona
· Participants Open Mic – What do you want your federal land managers to know? – Please plan on one minute per speaker to allow time for manager responses. Comment cards will be available for those not wishing to speak.

This is a chance for the public to meet face-to-face with the leaders of organizations that manage federal lands in northern Arizona. The public is invited to attend this special event and share their thoughts on what they value about public lands now and into the future.

SCA Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall

SCA Pharmaceuticals LLC (“SCA Pharmaceuticals”) is voluntarily recalling all/the following lots of the below listed injectable products to the hospital level. The is a potential for the products to contain microbial contamination.

Administration of a drug product, intended to be sterile, that may contain microbial contamination has the potential to result in serious adverse events which may include life-threatening infections. SCA Pharmaceuticals has not received any customer complaints or reports of adverse events related to this issue, but out of an abundance of caution, is voluntarily initiating this recall.
Continue reading “SCA Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall” »

Tipover East Prescribed Fire Update

FREDONIA – Operations progressed well today as firefighters estimate treating nearly 1,000 acres on the Tipover East prescribed fire project located across the North Kaibab Ranger District on the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

Ideal conditions allowed for larger scale ignition operations today, accelerating the operational tempo and resulting in two cycles of aerial ignitions along FR 270. Aerial firing operations are often preferred within rugged backcountry landscapes like the Tipover Unit because it lessens the need for ground firing within interior portions of the unit that potentially could pose more danger to firefighters.

Anticipated operations over the next operational period will be to continue aerial ignition operations and fortifying black lining along the unit boundary if conditions remain safe to do so.

Smoke: Smoke was much more visible today along AZ Highway 67 just south of Pleasant Valley. Fire managers anticipate smoke impacts to continue to intermittently impact motorists along portions of Highway 89A, Highway 67, Marble Canyon and other visitor areas to the north-northeast of the Tipover prescribed-burn unit.

Safety: During prescribed fires, motorists are cautioned that smoke may be present in short durations, which may impact roads and populated areas. Motorists are reminded to use caution, drive slowly, turn on headlights, and avoid stopping in areas where fire personnel are working.

As a reminder, all prescribed burning is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and appropriate weather conditions. For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorized on any given day, please visit http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html.

Fire information: Additional information is made available through the following resources: Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5632/; Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line (928) 635-8311; Text Message – text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404; https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/fire_info.htm.