Firefighters battling blaze on 194 acres of rugged terrain in Grand Canyon National Park

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ST. GEORGE, Utah – A fire is burning on nearly 200 acres about 75 miles southeast of St. George in Grand Canyon National Park Thursday.

According to a press release from the Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip District, the Mt. Emma Fire began around 4:40 p.m. Wednesday in the area of the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and was caused by lighting.

By Thursday morning, the fire was burning in a remote portion of Grand Canyon National Park, and as of Thursday afternoon the fire was burning on an estimated 194 acres.

There are no road or trail closures in connection with the fire, though the public is asked to use caution should they travel through the area. The press release notes smoke may be visible from St. George.

As of Thursday afternoon, responders included one load of smoke jumpers, one Hot Shot crew, one Type 2 initial attack crew, and a type 3 helicopter, according to the BLM, which stated the fire is burning in open Ponderosa pine, pinyon and juniper.

Crews are using indirect and direct methods for fire suppression, and the press release states the remote area included rugged, mountainous terrain which makes it necessary to balance fire suppression with firefighter safety concerns.

“This is a suppression fire that we are taking action on with resources on the ground,” stated BLM Public Affairs Officer Rachel Carnahan in the release. “We’re using both indirect and direct suppression tactics on this fire which is necessary in this kind of remote, rugged terrain. Access to reach the fire is difficult so we’re working to balance fire fighter safety—which is paramount—with feasible suppression tactics.”

The blaze is burning within the footprint of the Emma Fire, which burned 1,286 acres in 1999. The current fire is also located northwest of the aftermath of the Tuweep Fire, which burned 1,866 acres in 2005.