Mason Fire in Tusayan district grows, smoke blows

TUSAYAN, Ariz. — With drying conditions, the Mason Fire is steadily growing and there is an increase in the amount of smoke in the air around the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest. The 1,200-acre Mason Fire is one of four lightning-caused wildfires being managed on the district as part of the Jar Complex to provide ecological and other resource and community protection benefits in the area.

Map of the Mason Fire | Image courtesy of Kaibab National Forest Public Affairs Officer Jacqueline C. Banks, St. George News
Map of the Mason Fire | Image courtesy of Kaibab National Forest Public Affairs Officer Jacqueline C. Banks, St. George News | Click image to enlarge

The Mason Fire will be managed within a predefined 16,100-acre planning area that also includes the Old Fire, which grew to almost six acres in size yesterday. The planning area is located about 7 miles southeast of the Town of Tusayan and 4 miles south of Grandview Lookout Tower.

The other two fires being managed on the Tusayan Ranger District for forest health and other resource-related objectives are the Lost and Shale fires. Each fire is under an acre in size, and neither has shown much activity over the last few days despite the drying trend. These fires are located east of Highway 64 several miles south of Tusayan.

Today, fire crews will continue preparation work, including lining archaeological sites, trick tanks, range fences and any other potentially fire-sensitive resources within the established boundaries for the fires. While fire crews conduct prep work, a road crew will continue hauling gravel, blading and making other improvements to heavily-used roads in the fire areas.

Motorists using forest roads 301, 301A, 302 and 320 are asked to use caution due to the presence of heavy equipment for the road improvement work and firefighting trucks and personnel. No closures are anticipated in the area of the fires.

Smoke from the Mason Fire is becoming more prominent as it continues growing and becoming more active. Due to prevailing winds, smoke will largely be pushed toward the northeast, making it visible from Desert View in Grand Canyon National Park and from Cameron, Arizona.

Smoke is becoming visible in the Town of Tusayan in the early mornings due to cooler temperatures. However, it will lift as temperatures increase. Please use caution driving along Highway 64 and Highway 180 during the cooler early morning hours.

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