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Saffron Fire Update

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Saffron Fire Being Managed for Multiple Objectives on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park
Date: July 1, 2010
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. -- On Saturday, June 26, North Zone fire managers confirmed four new lightning-start fires on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and the North Kaibab Ranger District of Kaibab National Forest.

Three of these fires were immediately contained or suppressed. One, the Saffron Fire within Grand Canyon National Park, was placed in monitor status. This allowed fire managers to observe the fire’s behavior and evaluate current and predicted weather and fuel conditions, resource and personnel availability and other factors in determining if the Saffron Fire could be managed for multiple objectives.

Park and forest managers made the decision to manage the fire for both resource and protection objectives. Protection objectives include preserving multiple cultural sites in the vicinity of the fire, and resource objectives include reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and maintaining the role of fire in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

The Saffron Fire is approximately 12 acres in size and is located in the Saffron Valley on the Rainbow Plateau, approximately 2 miles south of the park/forest boundary and 15 miles northwest of the North Rim developed area. It is burning in ponderosa pine forest with white fir understory along-side locust and gamble oak, in an area that has experienced fire several times in the last 15 years.

The fire is currently exhibiting creeping and smoldering behavior, increasing to slow-moving ground fire during afternoon heating. It is slowly moving to the northeast and is burning approximately one-half to one acre per day.

To facilitate their protection objectives, North Zone fire managers brought in two hot shot crews and three engines to assist in the preparation of forest roads 223, 268 and 268B as well as the park’s W4 road for use as containment lines if needed. If the fire continues its progression to the northeast, managers intend to contain it at forest roads 223 and 268 to the north and 268B and the W4 road to the east. In addition, if the fire should progress to the northwest and reach forest road 223, it may be necessary to temporarily restrict access to Swamp and Fire Points.

Communication with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has already begun; and smoke impacts are expected to be minimal.

North Kaibab Ranger District (US National Forest Service) and North Rim (National Park Service) fire managers work together as the North Zone Fire Management Unit. This allows fire managers to share resources and to coordinate fire management activities across the landscape.

Additional news releases about the Saffron Fire will only be posted if significant changes in fire size, behavior or management objectives should occur.

If you have questions about the Saffron Fire, please call Grand Canyon Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at 928-638-7958 or North Kaibab Public Affairs Specialist Patrick Lair at 928-643-8172. To learn more about fire management in Grand Canyon National Park, please visit the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.
avatar Windy Weekend Leads to Moderate Growth on the Saffron Fire
July 05, 2010 12:10PM
Windy Weekend Leads to Moderate Growth on the Saffron Fire
Date: July 5, 2010
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Windy conditions on Saturday and Sunday led to moderate growth on the Saffron Fire which is being managed for multiple objectives on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

The Saffron Fire is approximately 400 acres in size and is located at the northern end of the Rainbow Plateau, approximately 2 miles south of the park/forest boundary and 15 miles northwest of the North Rim developed area. It is burning in ponderosa pine forest with white fir understory along-side locust and Gambel oak, in an area that has experienced fire several times in the last 15 years.

This lightning-caused fire was discovered on Saturday, June 26 and is being managed for both protection objectives--preserving multiple cultural sites in the area, and resource objectives-- recycling forest nutrients and maintaining the role of fire in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

Currently, there are approximately seventy personnel from five agencies monitoring and managing the fire. Forest roads 223, 268 and 268B have already been prepared to act as containment lines if the fire should continue its northeastward progression. Future management actions may include backfiring south of forest road 268 if it becomes necessary to aid in the fire’s containment to the north.

Yesterday, the fire progressed across the park’s W4 road also known as the Swamp Ridge Road. In order to protect visitor safety, Swamp Point and the Swamp Ridge Road have been closed until further notice. If the fire should continue its northeastward progression, it may also become necessary to restrict access to Fire Point.

Smoke impacts have been light with the smoke dispersing and rising well during the daytime hours.

North Kaibab Ranger District (US Forest Service) and North Rim (National Park Service) fire managers work together as the North Zone Fire Management Unit. This allows fire managers to share resources and to coordinate fire management activities across the landscape. Cooperating agencies on the Saffron Fire include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the state of Arizona, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Additional news releases about the Saffron Fire will continue to be posted if significant changes in fire size, behavior or management objectives should occur.

If you have questions about the Saffron Fire, please call Grand Canyon Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at 928-638-7958 or North Kaibab Public Affairs Specialist Patrick Lair at

928-643-8172. To learn more about fire management in Grand Canyon National Park, please visit the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.
avatar Saffron Fire Update
July 07, 2010 07:40PM
Saffron Fire Update
Date: July 7, 2010
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. –The Saffron Fire continues to be managed for multiple objectives on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

The fire is 1240 acres in size and is located at the northern end of the Rainbow Plateau, approximately 2 miles south of the park/forest boundary and 15 miles northwest of the North Rim developed area. It is burning in ponderosa pine forest with white fir understory along-side locust and Gambel oak, in an area that has experienced fire several times in the last 15 years.

This lightning-caused fire was discovered on Saturday, June 26 and is being managed for both protection objectives--preserving multiple cultural sites in the area, and resource objectives-- recycling forest nutrients and maintaining the role of fire in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

Currently, there are approximately ninety nine personnel from five agencies monitoring and managing the fire. Forest roads 223, 268 and 268B have already been prepared to act as containment lines if the fire should continue its northeastward progression. Burnout operations (creating an area devoid of fuels to act as a barrier to the fire’s progress) south of forest road 268 are planned to aid in the fire’s containment to the north.

Swamp Point and the Swamp Ridge Road have been closed until further notice. If the fire should continue its northeastward progression, it may also become necessary to restrict access to Fire Point.

Smoke impacts have been light with the smoke dispersing and rising well during the daytime hours. An inversion layer of smoke may occur during the nighttime and early morning hours.

North Rim (National Park Service) and North Kaibab Ranger District (US Forest Service) fire managers work together as the North Zone Fire Management Unit. This allows fire managers to share resources and to coordinate fire management activities across the landscape. Cooperating agencies on the Saffron Fire include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the State of Arizona, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Additional news releases about the Saffron Fire will continue to be posted as significant changes in fire size, behavior or management objectives occur.

If you have questions about the Saffron Fire, please call Saffron Fire Information Officer Jan Bardwell at 928-638-7066, Grand Canyon National Park Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at 928-638-7958 or North Kaibab Ranger District Public Affairs Specialist Patrick Lair at 928-643-8172. To learn more about fire management in Grand Canyon National Park, please visit the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.
avatar Saffron Fire Update, July 12
July 12, 2010 03:49PM
Saffron Fire Update, July 12
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The Saffron Fire on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park remains at 3,072 acres as fire spread was minimal due to higher humidity, cloud cover and moisture received on the fire.

Fire managers continue to allow the fire to burn naturally within the its planned management boundaries (north and east of the canyon rim and south of FR 268) in order to maintain fire’s natural role in the ecosystem, but are suppressing a portion of the fire on its eastern flank. Heavy fuel accumulations on the eastern side of the fire were the deciding factor in these suppression efforts.

The Saffron Fire started June 25, 2010 at the northern end of Rainbow Plateau, approximately 2 miles south of the park/forest boundary and 15 miles northwest of the North Rim developed area and is burning in both Grand Canyon National Park and Kaibab National Forest. It is burning in ponderosa pine with white fir understory along-side locust and Gambel oak, in an area that has experienced fire several times in the last 15 years.

Crews put in hand line yesterday on the eastern flank of the fire south of the W-4 Road and will continue to improve and mop up that side of the fire today. Crews will continue prep work on a portion of the W-4 road that runs north and south just east of the fire.

Fire managers have successfully burned 495 acres in burnout operations south of Forest Road (FR) 268 to aid in the fire’s containment to the north. Fire crews will patrol and monitor this area. These burnout operations create an area void of fuels to act as a barrier to the fire’s northward progress.

Access to FR 268 is still being restricted due to fire activity. Swamp Point and the Swamp Ridge Road (W-4 Road) remain closed until further notice. Forest Road 223 will re-open today.

Currently, there are approximately 124 personnel from five agencies monitoring and managing the fire, including four crews, five engines and one type three helicopter.

North Rim (National Park Service) and North Kaibab Ranger District (US Forest Service) fire manager’s work together as the North Zone Fire Management Unit. This allows fire managers to share resources and to coordinate fire management activities across the landscape. Cooperating agencies on the Saffron Fire include Bureau of Indian Affairs, State of Arizona, and Bureau of Land Management.

Additional news releases about the Saffron Fire will continue to be posted as significant changes in fire size, behavior or management objectives occur.

If you have questions about the Saffron Fire, please call Jan Bardwell, Public Information Office at 938-638-7066, Eric Neitzel, Public Information Officer, 928-251-0006, or Grand Canyon National Park Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at 928-638-7958. To learn more about fire management in Grand Canyon National Park, please visit the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.
avatar Saffron Fire Update, July 16
July 19, 2010 03:56PM
Saffron Fire Update, July 16
Date: July 16, 2010
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The Saffron Fire, burning on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, has seen little growth over the last three days, and is currently mapped at 3,260 acres. Yesterday, the fire became more active on its western flank and in some spots just north of Swamp Ridge Road.

Fire managers continue to monitor the fire’s activity closely while letting it burn naturally within the planned management boundaries (north and east of the canyon rim, south of Forest Roads (FR) 268 and 223, and north of Swamp Ridge Road – the east/west section of the W4 road) in order to maintain fire’s natural role in the ecosystem.

The Saffron Fire was started by lightning on June 25, 2010 at the northern end of Rainbow Plateau, approximately 2 miles south of the park/forest boundary and 15 miles northwest of the North Rim developed area and is burning in both Grand Canyon National Park and Kaibab National Forest. It is burning in ponderosa pine with white fir understory along-side locust and Gambel oak, in an area that has experienced fire several times in the last 15 years.

A Type 4 Team took over the fire this morning at 7:00 a.m.; and the new Incident Commander is Brooks Baker. Currently, there are approximately 50 personnel from five agencies monitoring and managing the fire, including three engines, on crew and one type three helicopter.

Crews will focus on preparation of the Swamp Ridge Road to act as a southern containment line if the fire’s northeast flank should grow in that direction, and on continuing to patrol and monitor the fire’s containment at FR 223 and FR 268.

Access to FR 268 is still being restricted due to fire activity. Swamp Ridge Road and Swamp Point remain closed until further notice. Forest Road 223 is open.

North Rim (National Park Service) and North Kaibab Ranger District (US Forest Service) fire manager’s work together as the North Zone Fire Management Unit. This allows fire managers to share resources and to coordinate fire management activities across the landscape. Cooperating agencies on the Saffron Fire include Bureau of Indian Affairs, State of Arizona, and Bureau of Land Management.

This will be the last news release about the Saffron Fire unless there are significant changes in the fire’s size, behavior or management objectives.

For additional information about the Saffron Fire, please call Grand Canyon National Park Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at 928-638-7958 or North Kaibab Public Affairs Specialist Patrick Lair at 928-643-8172. To learn more about fire management in Grand Canyon National Park, please visit the park’s web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.
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