The Castle Fire became more active yesterday as wind speeds increased. Some spotting occurred on the north and south perimeter. Firefighters were successful in holding the fire north of Castle Point and on the southeastern portion of the perimeter.
With hot, dry weather and winds forecasted to continue for the next few days, fire managers are increasing firefighting resources in order to mitigate fire behavior and meet the objectives of the Castle Fire. The objectives are:
- Utilize deliberate risk management process to ensure that incident responders are only committed where and when they can be successful, with the least exposure necessary.
- Allow fire to function as a natural disturbance process within the ecosystem to reduce accumulations of forest fuels that may exist in the area.
- Limit fire intensity to prevent adverse impacts to cultural and natural resources.
- Hold fire within the planning area.
Smoke is visible from surrounding communities and is expected to settle in the valleys during early morning and late evenings and then clear out by mid-morning. For local air quality and related information, please visit the following websites: www.airnow.gov or the Smoke Management Division of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Please visit InciWeb for more information on the Castle Fire and other fires in the area.
Soon after the Castle Fire started on July 12, fire managers pre-identified a planning area in which the lightning-caused wildfire would be allowed to fulfill its natural role within a fire-dependent ecosystem. The fire has burned through about 96% of the 19,368-acre planning area, burning through a significant amount of dead and down trees and some mixed conifer species. Small pockets of unburned vegetation remain within the wildfire’s interior and may burn over the coming days. By allowing the wildfire to naturally burn through this area, the ecosystem will become healthier and more resilient.
A Closure Order remains in effect for the Castle Fire area: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6439/
CASTLE FIRE OVERVIEW
- Discovery Date: July 12, 2019.
- Cause: Lightning.
- Location (point of origin): Approximately 11 miles south of Jacob Lake, 3 miles west of Highway 67, and just east of Forest Road 761 near Oquer Canyon on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.
- Current Resources: Four engines and miscellaneous fire management personnel. Total personnel approximately 32.
- Current Size: About 19,368 acres within a 19,368-acre planning area. Small pockets of unburned vegetation remain within the wildfire’s interior and may burn over the coming days.
- Predicted Smoke Impacts: Smoke is expected to be visible from both the north and south rims of Grand Canyon National Park, Jacob Lake, Highway 67, Highway 89A, Fredonia and Page. To learn more about smoke and public health, visit http://bit.ly/SmokeHealthAwareness.
- Current Closures: Kaibab National Forest managers have implemented a temporary Closure Order for the Castle Fire area in order to provide for public and firefighter safety. For specific information about the Closure Order, please visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6439/.
- Recent and Current Operations: Wildland fire crews will patrol, monitor and hold designated perimeters within which the fire can move and mitigate hot spots if they occur. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area.
Kaibab National Forest information is available through the following sources: