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I own no land, instead I have wheelestate. I’ve been a full time RVer since 1997. Working summers as a Park Ranger takes me to many beautiful places and playing during the winter takes me to many more. This blog is simply the story of my life's adventures.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

My World Tuesday - Fires at Grand Canyon National Park


Last week we experienced several exciting thunder storms with great lightning displays, but not much rain.

Arizona’s 11 years of drought has left the land dry and parched. Add to that 100 years of fire suppression which has allowed an unnatural build up of dead wood and pine needles. A perfect combination for fire.

Three small (several hundred acres) lightning-caused fires have been slowly burning on the South Rim southeast of the park for several weeks. They are being managed to meet resource objectives including “returning fire to a fire-dependent ecosystem, recycling of nutrients, protecting cultural sites, improving wildlife habitat, and reducing the risk of future severe fire occurrence.”

Last Wednesday, the Aspen Fire on the North Rim’s Walhalla Plateau was reported and expected to burn for several weeks, also being managed for the above reasons. By Sunday the fire had grown to almost 1700 acres and crossed the Cape Royal Road which was closed to visitors beyond the Point Imperial turnoff.

Firefighters are working on suppression on the northern and eastern flanks of the fire in an effort to reopen the road. The rest will be managed for resource benefits.

Also on Sunday, firefighters worked to suppress a 400 acre fire along Highway 89A north of Jacob Lake which closed that road from 5pm until noon Monday.

For more about fire on the North Rim check out FabGrandma’s post.

To get more glimpses of life around the world, or to share your own, go to My World Tuesday by clicking here.

24 comments:

Sylvia K said...

I'm not surprised, but it's still sad, we've lost so much to fires in the past few years. Great post, Gaelyn! Appreciate all the information!

Have a good week!

Sylvia

Rajesh said...

Very informative supported by spectacular shots. How long does one such fire lasts? Is it in no man land?

Wolynski said...

Let's hope the Grand Canyon itself doesn't burn down. Lightning starts all this or is it cigarettes and campfires sometimes?

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

As long as there is no threat with these fires to people, it is good to let them burn under management. In Kruger Park they yearly have controlled fires and the place look wonderful with good grazing for the animals.

LadyFi said...

So sad to hear about the fires. There are a lot raging in Southern Europe too.

Great shots!

Jo said...

Thanks Gaelyn for the informative post. As long as the fires are managed, then the grazing and natural habitats will return to normal. Are people very careful (about cigarette butts, campfires) Are the authorities very strict? I saw Karen's post and the warning signposts. Have a good day in your beautiful piece of paradise. (((Hugs))) Jo

Arija said...

With us a fire in the summer time rings alarm bells loud and clear. Having been burnt out once, no fire in the summer is manageable there are so many factors involved that can turn it into an unstoppable tragedy.
We are building a fire bunker to be physically safe next time.

Re. our pine tree, the prof has a thing about cutting down a living tree, but sometimes it is necessary for a variety of reasons. Radiata pines are a bad choice for out country, they are water seeking with an immense root system. We have a row of pines that were a good wind break when young but now they are a pest and killing all my garden.

Pam said...

Wildfires are a necessary evil and natures way of renewing the landscape. We don't have to like it but its kinda like the good news, bad news thing, we just can't have it the way we want it all the time. Mother nature knows best but sometimes she need a little help from above...

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Gaelyn: I know there are reasons to have the results of the fire to clear the underbrush but I think they are dangerous. It is alright as long as it doesn't get near cabins.

Jazz said...

Funny how we always view fires as being bad while actually they're a normal part of nature and they keep things healthy...

The Good Life in Virginia said...

hey there. very informative post and your captures are spot on.

it's going to be a hot one here today 90s and high pollen count...ughhh

Dirk said...

Great captures. Not without danger being a firefighter. I hope they manage to keep everything under control.

Babooshka said...

This is something we definitely don't have to deal with here, due to the very heavy rainfall. Sad to see.

Sharodindu said...

amazing post. Very informative with photographs.

Karen said...

I'm going to add a link to your post on mine, you have some very good information here. Thanks for your help, too.

Barb said...

Hi Gaelyn,
I didn't realize these fires are burning. Is it smoky where you are? We are having a severe problem with Lodgepole beetle-killed trees here in CO. It is very frightening, since we live right on the edge of wilderness where there are now a lot of dead trees. Nature would take care of the problem with lightening fires, but as you say - fires are managed now because of habitation. If we see or hear of a fire starting near us, we'll leave immediately. It is becoming like tinder in the mountains of CO.

Ghermine said...

Thrilled to find your site. Will link to it from my blog about Sedona/SW hiking.

Martha Z said...

The fires are natural and necessary, I know, but I do miss the blue skies.

Dana said...

I used to smoke also. Stress still makes me want it, but the good health I enjoy makes it worth what I lost.

My family has a few healthy homes that we rent out occassionally when we're not vacationing. We're not a resort. More about what makes the homes healthy and photos at www.ecoLuxuryLodging.com. We also offer a 10% discount to smokers who have quit for 90 days or more in the past 12 months!

Indrani said...

Very informative post!
Nature has its own ways.

SandyCarlson said...

Fires always unnerve me. These are astounding shots, though.

I hope you get out and get a break from there!

Janie said...

I'm glad to hear that the national park service is letting fires burn where possible so we return to a more natural balance.
The forest service around here seems to be doing the same, allowing naturally occurring burns to continue as long as they don't impact human habitation. Seems like an improvement in policy to me.

Susie of Arabia said...

Sometimes it's best to let nature take its course. Stay safe!

Louise said...

When we were in Bryce there was a managed fire. We were surprised that they do that in the windy, dry season. I had assumed they would do it when the weather couldn't as easily cause it to be out-of-control, but it seemed to go away after a day, so they must have been fine.

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