Castle Fire

Effective today, the Kaibab National Forest will lift the area closure around the Castle Fire that has been in place since the lightning caused wildfire started in mid-July.

Members of the public can now access the area, which had been closed due to public safety during ongoing fire operations, including areas of active fire, and the presence of firefighting equipment and personnel. The public Is advised to have heightened awareness about potential safety hazards and exercise increased vigilance regarding personal safety.

Over the last several days, crews have continued to reinforce all boundaries established for the Castle Fire, and fire managers do not anticipate any additional growth in acreage.

Today, firefighters will continue to monitor the wildfire, repair and rehabilitate areas where suppression actions were taken, mop up remaining hot spots near control lines, and clear hazardous snags and debris along roadways, including several within the perimeter.

With support from recently added firefighting resources, Castle Fire crews yesterday continued to hold the fire within established boundaries, in spite of above average temperatures and low relative humidity. Crews were holding and patrolling the fire's perimeter as well as extinguishing identified interior hot spots close to the perimeter. Although smoke could be seen from the fire all day, the smoke was being generated from interior pockets of previously unburned fuel that had ignited rather than from any increase in the overall wildfire size.

The Castle Fire became more active yesterday as wind speeds increased. Some spotting occurred on the north and south perimeter. Firefighters were successful in holding the fire north of Castle Point and on the southeastern portion of the perimeter.

With hot, dry weather and winds forecasted to continue for the next few days, fire managers are increasing firefighting resources in order to mitigate fire behavior and meet the objectives of the Castle Fire. The objectives are:

As hot and dry weather lingers, the Castle Fire is moving through areas of unburned islands of dead and down vegetation that has accumulated over the years. The Castle Fire has been burning with mostly low to moderate fire intensity but holding well within confinement lines. This type of fire behavior will result in improving forest health and wildlife habitat in that area while providing a barrier for future wildfires.

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