The Castle Fire on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest grew to 200 acres yesterday while continuing to clean up downed, woody debris and improve overall forest health.
The fire, which was discovered July 12, has been creeping and smoldering through dense mixed conifer forest about 11 miles south of Jacob Lake, 3 miles west of Highway 67, and just east of Forest Road 761 near Oquer Canyon. Gradual fire growth is anticipated over the coming days as dry conditions persist.
The Kaibab National Forest is using the lightning-caused Castle Fire to achieve a variety of resource objectives including restoring the forest structure to more historic conditions, reducing spruce and fir encroachment of area meadows, removing fuels that could feed future severe wildfires, and promoting aspen regeneration. The Kaibab National Forest is part of a fire-adapted ecosystem and is dependent on fire to play a natural role in maintaining forest health.
While there is no planned end date for the wildfire, forest managers have established a planning area within which it will be allowed to grow over the coming weeks. This does not mean that the wildfire will move across the entire planning area, as weather conditions and terrain features will impact long-term activity and growth.
The Castle Fire poses no danger to structures or other local infrastructure. However, smoke is likely to become more visible over the coming days as the fire spreads within the defined planning area.
CASTLE FIRE OVERVIEW
- Discovery Date: July 12, 2019.
- Cause: Lightning.
- Location: 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: Two crews, six engines, a dozer, a chipper, a water tender, and miscellaneous fire management personnel. Total personnel: approximately 100.
- Current Size: About 200 acres.
- 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, and Fredonia.
- Current Closures: None.
- Recent and Current Operations: Wildland fire crews are preparing boundary roads and other control lines for the fire's likely growth. They are also doing work to protect potentially fire-sensitive sites such as range fences and ponderosa pine plantations in advance of the wildfire’s spread.
Kaibab National Forest information is available through the following sources: