Smoke will continue to be seen from the Castle Fire in the days ahead as weather conditions remain dry and warm. These conditions have proved favorable to allow the Castle Fire to spread gently and moderately southward into Dugway and Lookout Canyon, while consuming acres of dead and down vegetation such as pine needles, dry brush and grass. Interior pockets of dead fuel and overgrowth will continue to smolder until a wetting rain event occurs.
Fire managers conducted air reconnaissance late yesterday to assess movement of the fire within the interior and evaluate actions necessary in order to hold and secure confinement of the Castle Fire within the pre-identified planning area. Rehab work will continue as needed.
Today's weather forecast calls again for mostly sunny with no precipitation and is forecasted to continue until Thursday. 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 about 95% of the planning area, as pockets of unburned fuel remain within the fire's interior. 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: One crew, four engines, a helicopter, a dozer, two masticators, one skidder, and miscellaneous fire management personnel. Total personnel: approximately 90.
- Current Size: About 19,368 acres. It has spread across about 95% of the 19,368-acre planning area, as there are still pockets of unburned fuel within the fire’s interior.
- 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