Operations have been successful in allowing the lightning caused Castle Fire to reduce accumulations of dead and down forest vegetation. This will contribute to a regeneration and renewal of this area, creating new habitat for wildlife while forming a buffer for larger fires that may occur in the future.
Three engines will focus on patrolling and ensuring the perimeter of the fire area is secure. Other firefighting personnel will continue identifying and removing hazard trees that could pose a risk. Fire managers are monitoring the Castle Fire from the air and ground. The Type 3 Incident Management Team with IC Brandon Allen could be in transition for at least a couple of days before transferring command of the Castle Fire to a smaller Type 4 Incident Management organization due to the anticipation of stronger winds in the forecast for Friday.
The Castle Fire will continue to generate smoke until a wetting rain occurs. Smoke will be visible from surrounding communities. Please see www.airnow.gov for local air quality conditions and related information.
Today, the weather forecast calls for mostly clear skies and no precipitation and is expected. 15-25 mph winds are in the forecast for Friday. Smoke will be visible as fire behavior increases during the peak burning period which is mid-day to late afternoon.
Soon after the Castle Fire started on July 12th, fire managers pre-identified the 19,632-acre planning area where the lightning-caused wildfire would be allowed to fulfill its natural role within a fire-dependent ecosystem. Better mapping of the pre-identified planning area has indicated a decrease in acreage from 19,632 to 19,368. The fire has burned through 96% of the planning area, burning through a significant amount of dead and down trees and some mixed conifer species. 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: Three engines, one crew, and miscellaneous fire management personnel. Total personnel: approximately 72.
- Current Size: About 19,368 acres and it has spread across about 96% of the 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, Fredonia and Page. Please see www.airnow.gov for local air quality conditions.
- 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: Three engines will patrol, hold and monitor the Castle Fire. Hazard trees will be identified and removed as necessary. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area.
Kaibab National Forest information is available through the following sources: