Are visitors loving the Grand Canyon to death?
Smoke Visible From Prescribed Burn On Grand Canyon's North Rim
A prescribed burn began at Grand Canyon National Park Monday. The 1,000-acre will burn will only last three days – but visitors could be seeing smoke for much longer.
Park spokeswoman Kirby Shedlowski the burn could smolder or days – or weeks – It’s part of a 22,000-acre project meant to restore the area to a more natural state. She says without fire, vegetation can become overgrown and the risk for large forest fires is greater.
“Doing fuels reductions and doing prescribed burns like this has multiple purposes,” Shedlowski said, “and so it allows us to keep safety in mind and also the natural ecosystem in mind.”
The burn is treating an area of ponderosa pine and mixed conifer stands west of Highway 67 and south of the Kaibab National Forest boundary. Crews are monitoring various factors, such as wind speed and direction, humidity levels and temperature. The burn is a joint project of the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Updated 11/18/2013 at 3:45 p.m.