The Main Stream

Jun 13, 2012 1:26 PM

'Grand Fire' burning near Williams continues to grow today

WILLIAMS - The Grand Fire burning in both the Kaibab National Forest and Grand Canyon National Park has grown to 446 acres.

Fire crews estimate the blaze is 50 percent contained. The fire is located eight miles east of Tusayan and 11 miles southeast of Grand Canyon Village, in the vicinity of the Grandview Lookout Tower and the Arizona Trail. The area last burned in 2009 during the Ruby Complex which was also managed with an interagency organization. Fuels include ponderosa pine, grass and some pinyon pine.

Approximately 85 personnel are assigned to the fire today and will be focusing their efforts on strengthening containment lines and extinguishing hot spots within the fire perimeter. Resources include six engines, three water tenders, two helicopters, one hot shot crew, and one dozer.

A DC10 air tanker and two single engine air tankers were used on the fire yesterday during initial attack. The DC10 is equipped to drop up to 11,600 gallons of retardant. It dropped two loads of retardant on the north flank of the fire to assist firefighters on the ground in keeping the fire from endangering a utility corridor and damaging power lines.

Officials advise the public to avoid the fire area around Grandview Lookout Tower in order to allow personnel to continue their work. Hazards include burned trees that may fall across forest roads and smoke on local roadways, impairing visibility. As a safety precaution, Arizona Trail users need to be prepared to detour off the trail between Forest Road 303 at Watson Tank and the junction of Forest Roads 301 and 310 near Lockett Lake until further notice. All roads and trails in Grand Canyon National Park are open at this time.

Smoke may be visible along State Highway 64 and in various locations within Grand Canyon National Park. Visitors may also see fire equipment and personnel in the area. Drivers should be aware of the potential for traffic control near the Grandview Tower and should watch for, and obey, traffic control signs and personnel. Drivers are asked not to stop when driving in the vicinity of the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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