Dry air moving into the region is keeping the Castle Fire active as it moves into unburned vegetation within the planning area. Yesterday, fire crews successfully continued to hold and patrol the fire perimeter. Firefighters gridded the area for new spots where Saturday's spots occurred and found none.
Today, fire crews will focus on patrolling and holding the fire if necessary. Additional resources ordered are on scene working to ensure fire stays within the planning area perimeter. After aerial reconnaissance yesterday, fire managers feel confident the Castle Fire is meeting the objective of functioning as a natural disturbance within the ecosystem as it reduces accumulations of forest fuels such as dead and down vegetation and encroaching, unhealthy stands of piñon-juniper.
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: 6 engines, and miscellaneous fire management personnel. Total personnel approximately 39.
- 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: 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: