Castle Fire managers focus on preparation

July 22, 2019 - 8:02 am

The Castle Fire continues to grow along the northeast portion of the planning area. The fire is backing along the forest floor and occasionally flaming up in areas where there are dense pockets of dead and down logs.

The lightning-caused wildfire, which is being allowed to fulfill its natural role in a fire-dependent ecosystem, is approximately 600 acres within a predetermined planning area of 19,368 acres. It is located about 11 miles south of Jacob Lake, 3 miles west of Highway 67, and just east of Forest Road 761 near Oquer Canyon.

Yesterday, wildland fire crews started work on prepping the northern boundary of the planning area. Efforts also continued on improving the eastern boundary and other barriers that will ultimately confine fire growth, with the goal of keeping it within the predetermined perimeters.

Today, crews plan to work on reinforcing the northern and southeastern boundaries of the planning area. Firing operations will occur along Forest Road 760, along the northeast boundary, as conditions allow.

Fire managers anticipate that the Castle Fire will remain active for several weeks. Weather conditions are predicted to remain largely warm and dry, which can aid in the wildfire's continued gradual growth. Officials want to remind visitors that while there are currently no fire restrictions in place on the Kaibab National Forest, it is always important to use extra caution when recreating on public lands and having a campfire or using any device that could start a wildland fire.

The Castle Fire poses no danger to structures or other local infrastructure. Smoke impacts have been minimal to date. However, firing operations may cause a temporary increase in the amount of smoke emissions. Expect light to moderate smoke impacts on Highway 67 over the next few days.

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: Four crews, eight engines, a dozer, a chipper, two water tenders, one masticator, and miscellaneous fire management personnel. Total personnel: approximately 150.  
  • Current Size: About 600 acres within a 19,368-acre planning area.
  • 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: Kaibab National Forest managers are working on a closure area around the Castle Fire in order to provide for public and firefighter safety. The specific closure area and map will be available later today.
  • Recent and Current Operations: Wildland fire crews plan to continue improving roads and other designated perimeters within which the fire can move. Burnout operations may be conducted as needed to strengthen control lines.

Kaibab National Forest information is available through the following sources:

To view a full version of this map, click here: PDF iconpio_8x11_port_07222019.pdf

The image shows a map of the Castle Fire.

 

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