Fire managers address natural Jolly Fire near Jacob Lake to meet prescribed objectives

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Lightning activity on the North Kaibab Ranger District over the weekend resulted in several small fires, one of which is the Jolly Fire located about 3 miles south of Jacob Lake in the Kaibab National Forest.

The Jolly Fire started Saturday and was discovered by fire personnel. Caused by lightning, the fire is fueled by ponderosa pine, aspen and pine litter. Smoke may be visible from U.S. Highways 67 and 89A.

On Monday, fire managers met to discuss the likelihood of managing the fire to allow the fire to function in its natural ecological role within defined boundaries and reduce fuels within the planned management area. It is currently a slow-moving ground fire, and fire managers are considering managing the fire for resource benefits as weather and conditions allow.

Allowing the fire to burn, a statement issued by the forest service said, will result in the restoration of a fire-adapted ecosystem, reduction of accumulated fuels on the forest floor, recycling of nutrients into the soil and protection of the area from future high-intensity wildland fires.

While the fire is less than 1 acre, the statement said, fire managers will keep it within predetermined boundaries. If it grows to the maximum boundary area, it will reach about 1,514 acres in size.

Forest and district fire managers are monitoring the fire daily.

No road or trail closures are in effect. Forest Service Roads remain open; however, hazard signs are posted, and motorists should exercise caution.

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