New wildfire on Tusayan Ranger District growing in size

TUSAYAN, Ariz. — A lightning-caused wildfire on the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest is burning actively and growing in size due to dry weather conditions. The 50-acre Rock Fire started Friday and is located near Rock Lake Pothole just south of the Coconino Rim, about 15 miles southeast of the Town of Tusayan.

The wildfire, which was discovered by fire managers Saturday, is burning at a low- to moderate-level of intensity through an area dominated by ponderosa pine trees.

Fire managers plan to allow the wildfire to take its natural course within predefined boundaries in order to help restore ecological balance across the landscape so that the area is more resilient to threats, such as future high-intensity wildfires.

Firefighters will prepare Tuesday for the wildfire’s anticipated future growth by lining archaeological sites, range fences, trick tanks and any other potentially fire-sensitive resources near the fire area. This important work ensures that as the Rock Fire grows, fire managers will be able to allow it to take its natural course without the risk of negatively impacting other values in the area.

Given dry conditions in the forecast for the next few days, the Rock Fire is expected to burn actively, grow significantly in size and produce smoke that is visible from Cameron, Tuba City, Valle and Highway 64. Smoke may sink overnight into Tappan Wash and potentially move toward Cameron and then rise and dissipate in the morning hours as temperatures increase.

There are no closures associated with the Rock Fire.

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