SPRINGDALE — Three prescribed burns are scheduled in Zion National Park near Zion Lodge between Monday and Friday – the exact dates will depend on weather and fuel conditions and available resources.
The fires are planned to reduce the fire hazard caused by fine, flashy fuels and to help protect park visitors, staff and infrastructure. The project is a combined effort between fire and resource managers and will help protect and preserve critical cultural and natural resources.
In recent years, Zion Canyon has seen a number of exotic annual grasses, mainly cheatgrass and smooth brome, take over and out-compete the native perennial grasses that once covered the area.
The fuel reduction will help reduce fire danger in Zion Canyon and provide the native grasses an opportunity to re-establish themselves. Once an area has been burned, an herbicide will be applied to further reduce non-native vegetation.
This spring the park received above average precipitation which caused an abundant crop of the non-native species which cure late in the spring and present a considerable fire danger throughout the summer.
The project will help reduce the fire danger in Zion Canyon and provide the native grasses an opportunity to re-establish themselves.
The prescribed fires will only be ignited if favorable weather conditions exist and needed fire personnel are available. Short-term impacts from these prescribed burns may include smoky conditions and temporary traffic and trail control measures in the vicinity of the burns.
The goal of the prescribed fire program in Zion is to use prescribed fire where appropriate for the restoration of fire-dependent ecosystems and species-specific resource management goals.