GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – Although Grand Canyon National Park received below-average precipitation this winter, the warm spring caused vegetation in the park to thrive. Now, fine fuels are quickly drying out as winds and temperatures rise, increasing the risk of wildfire.
Grand Canyon National Park
Those visiting Grand Canyon National Park or Northern Arizona in the near future should know that fire danger is currently “high” or “very high” throughout much of the area. In the park, fire danger on the South Rim is “very high,” which means fires will start easily from all causes and, immediately after ignition, will spread rapidly and quickly increase in intensity. On the North Rim, fire danger is “high,” which means fine, dead fuels will ignite readily and most ignition sources will easily start a fire. In addition, fires in continuous, heavy fuels will spread rapidly and high intensity burning may develop.
Within Grand Canyon National Park, there are no fire restrictions in effect at this time. However, visitors are reminded of the following year-round fire regulations:
- Within the park, fires are only allowed in designated campgrounds and may only be ignited in grills or designated fire rings.
- For those hiking and camping below the rim, cook stoves may be used but campfires and other open fires are never allowed.
- If you are on a river trip, campfires are only allowed in elevated metal pans and use of a fireproof blanket under the pan is required.
Universal fire awareness, precautions
Wherever you may travel, be fire aware. Taking a few extra precautions can make all the difference:
- Before going hiking or camping, check for fire restrictions and closures in the area. Direct inquiries to the agency that manages the public lands you are visiting.
- When using a portable stove, clear the area of grasses and other fine fuels and be careful to prevent the stove from tipping over.
- Consider alternatives to campfires. During times of high fire danger (and above), unattended campfires are likely to escape.
- If you should choose to have a campfire, make sure it is completely out before you go to bed or leave the area – douse it with water and stir until it is cold to the touch.
- Practice “leave no trace” principles, including packing out cigarette butts and burned materials.
- If you are driving on unpaved roads, be careful of parking or driving your vehicle in tall, dry vegetation. Hot vehicle parts may start a fire.
- If you see smoke or fire, note the location and report it to authorities. Do not attempt to put out a fire by yourself.
- For the latest fire information in Grand Canyon National Park, visit the National Park Service website
- To learn more about fire restrictions on other public lands in Arizona and New Mexico, call the Southwest Area Fire Restriction Information Line at 877-864-6985
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