The Castle Fire is slowly spreading once again as a long day of direct sunlight and warmer temperatures encouraged fire behavior to increase on the western half of the fire on Thursday. As predicted, the heavy fuels held the heat through the recent rain showers and the fire resumed creeping across the forest floor at a slow, but steady pace.
The hard work that the firefighters are doing has continued uninterrupted by the recent change in weather. They remain focused on suppression repair, mastication, firing operations and aerial ignitions. These combined actions will contribute to the success of holding the fire within the 19,632-acrea planning area.
Specialized work continues along the western edge of the planning area where masticators are redistributing ladder fuels to the forest floor. As the fire approaches the modified fuel load, it generally burns through the debris efficiently while promoting a healthy ground cover that is more receptive to new growth and regeneration.
Today's weather forecast calls for a 10% chance of precipitation in the form of isolated showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon, with the best chance for rain on Saturday.
The fire's origin 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.
This naturally ignited wildfire is being allowed to function as a natural disturbance within the ecosystem where it will help reduce accumulations of forest fuels that exist in the area.
The Castle Fire poses no danger to structures or other local infrastructure and a temporary 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 crews, nine engines, a helicopter, a dozer, a chipper, two water tenders, four masticators, and miscellaneous fire management personnel. Total personnel: approximately 194.
- Current Size: About 10,800 acres and it has spread across about 56% of the 19,632-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 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 plan to continue improving roads and other designated perimeters within which the fire can move. Current weather conditions may influence the use of firing operations which may be conducted as needed in order to strengthen control lines. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area.
Kaibab National Forest information is available through the following sources:
· Castle Fire Inciweb Page: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6439/
· Kaibab National Forest Website: www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
· Twitter: www.twitter.com/KaibabNF
· Facebook: www.facebook.com/KaibabNF
· Flickr: http://bit.ly/CastleFire2019