ST. GEORGE — Fire managers responded to a lightning-caused fire on Aug. 5 approximately 53 miles south of St. George within the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.
The “Trumbull Fire,” located in the Mt. Trumbull Wilderness, is approximately 505 acres as of Wednesday and is burning in ponderosa pine, oak brush, pine needle duff and grass. Multiple resources from the Bureau of Land Management’s Arizona Strip District are monitoring the fire, including one helicopter, one engine and a fire effects monitor.
This fire is being monitored as it burns naturally across the landscape. Fire managers say the blaze is being allowed to play its natural role within the fire-adapted Ponderosa pine ecosystem.
“Fire is naturally a part of the landscape, and so when it is appropriately managed and mitigated it can be a benefit to a lot of different resources out there,” said Rachel Carnahan, public affairs officer for the BLM Arizona Strip District.
Under the right conditions, fire helps break down nutrients and minerals in plants and other debris, such as old logs and dense undergrowth, and restores them to the soil. The process also improves wildlife habitat and preserves wilderness values while protecting monument objects, according to fire managers.
Temporary fire area closure
The Trumbull Fire is in close proximity to the Mount Trumbull Trail and southern end of the Temple Trail. A temporary emergency fire area closure is in effect for these trails, as of Wednesday. The public is not allowed to use the above trails due to concerns for public safety and potential impacts to fire-related activities.
“We just appreciate the public’s help. Everyone has always been so helpful as far as being compliant when there’s a fire burning in this area,” Carnahan said. “We do have that closure for those trails in that region to allow the firefighters to be able to do their work and also to keep the public safe.”
The closure will remain in effect until it is determined that conditions are safe and that fire activities would not be affected by trail use. For safety reasons, all permit holders in the area must contact BLM Arizona Strip District Fire Management at 435-688-3366 prior to entry.
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