Windy conditions cause the Ikes Fire on the Kaibab Plateau to grow

September 20, 2019 - 3:25 pm

Due to consecutive days of strong, gusty winds and below normal moisture over recent weeks, fire activity has increased again on the southwestern edge of the Ikes Fire, which is located on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.

After nearly two weeks of minimal growth and smoke production, the lightning-caused Ikes Fire is once again visible to visitors in the area. Due to a day of wind gusts in the 40 to 45 mph range, the wildfire has now grown to approximately 9,800 acres. Almost all of the recent growth has occurred in Grand Canyon National Park below the canyon’s rim, where available fuels were in alignment with the strong winds and steep slopes.

Weather forecasts predict that winds will diminish considerably tomorrow, which should lead to a noticeable decrease in fire behavior. Moisture is also expected to make its way back into the area by the beginning of next week.

Fire managers will continue to evaluate safe and effective options and strategies to limit or stop fire spread. This could include using the area burned in the 2018 Stina Fire to stop the wildfire’s movement to the northeast on the Kaibab National Forest.

To ensure public and firefighter safety, the temporary closure area of the Ikes Fire on the North Kaibab Ranger District will be expanded to include the roads, trails and viewpoints in the Rainbow Rim Trail area. Areas in the expanded closure include:

  • Parissawampitts Point
  • Fence Point
  • Locust Point
  • North Timp Point
  • Timp Point
  • Stina Point

Highway 67 and the North Rim Village and businesses are open. However, road and trail closures are in effect for the Ikes Fire area within Grand Canyon National Park. The following roads and trails are closed on the North Rim:

Powell Plateau Trail, the North Bass Trail, Fire Point, Swamp Point, and the W4 road north of the intersection of the W4 and W1 Roads.

Smoke from the Ikes Fire, along with other wildfires in the area, will be visible and may cause impacts. Visitors traveling to the area should be aware of possible smoke along Highway 67. Visitors are asked to drive carefully and turn headlights on for safety. 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 at https://azdeq.gov/SmokeManagemet.

More information can be found at InciWeb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6475/. Visit www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/firemanagement.htm for additional information about wildland fire at Grand Canyon National Park.

For information about the Kaibab National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab or @KaibabNF on Facebook and Twitter.

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