Fire managers discuss lightning-caused fire: Locust Fire near Rainbow Rim

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ST. GEORGE — North Zone fire managers met Tuesday to discuss strategies for managing a second fire in the North Kaibab Ranger District in Arizona and the possible impacts this managed fire could potentially have on forest visitors.

This lightning-caused fire is located in the vicinity of Locust Point near the Rainbow Rim Trail. The Rainbow Rim will not be closed during this managed fire, and fire managers are aware of the anticipated increase in visitor use during this weekend’s scheduled bike festival.

Locust Fire was discovered by fire personnel Monday around noon during an aerial reconnaissance flight. It is fueled by pine litter, down woody debris and grass. Smoke may be visible from Forest Service Roads 22 and 206, Arizona Highway 67, U.S. Highway 89A and the scenic vista viewpoints on the Rainbow Rim.

The fire is approximately 2 acres in size. Fire managers plan to manage the Locust Fire within predetermined boundaries, and if the fire grows to the maximum boundary area, it would be about 3,282 acres.

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.

Forest and district fire managers are monitoring the Locust Fire daily.

Currently, no road or trail closures are in effect or anticipated; however, hazard signs are posted, and motorists should exercise caution.

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