Burns, fire improve forest health

Burns, fire improve forest health

2 July 2005

publishedby www.azdailysun.com

Kaibab National Forest Fire managers are using a prescribed burn and four other naturally ignited wildland fires on the forest’s Tusayan Ranger District to improve forest health and re-establish fire’s natural role in the ecosystem.

Fire managers will ignite nearly 110 acres as part of the Red Horse Prescribed Burn Project located five miles south of Grandview Lookout, Friday. Fire managers have already treated about 400 acres in the area over the past week, and another 700 acres will be available for treatment after the monsoons begin.

“We have had very good fire effects as part of this prescribed burn,” said Dave Mills, assistant fire management officer for the Tusayan Ranger District. “It has been burning at a low-to-moderate intensity and hasn’t had any smoke impacts to Tusayan or the Grand Canyon.”

Four other naturally ignited wildland fires are also being managed by forest service fire managers, and are being used to help meet resource objectives such as nutrient recycling and enhancing habitat for wildlife.

The largest fire burning in the Tusayan Ranger District is the Mundersbach Fire, which has burned nearly 150 acres of ponderosa pine forest, small meadows and brush. The Mundersbach Fire is located about six miles south of Grandview Lookout, southwest of the Red Horse project area.

The Skinner Fire, North Wildland Fire, and Stem Fire, have combined to burn less than 70 acres in the Tusayan Ranger District, and are unlikely to spread rapidly because of previous treatment in the area.

“These fires not only improve forest health, but they also help us to educate people about fire’s natural role in the ecosystem,” said Mills. “We hope to continue to have opportunities to allow fire to re-establish itself as a natural process.” 


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