Grand Canyon National Park
The Ikes Fire, which started on July 25th, is approximately 28 acres. Rain on Wednesday significantly reduced fire behavior, resulting in almost no new fire growth.
However even with precipitation, the fire can remain active, especially in areas of heavy or dense fuel loads. The fire received no rain on Thursday and the forecast calls for less chances of rain over the next several days. Fire behavior and acreage will likely increase as conditions get dry.
The eastern half of the Castle Fire experienced its first significant rainfall yesterday morning. While the western side of the fire received little to no rain, cooler temperatures coupled with increased humidity significantly moderated fire behavior. These conditions resulted in no new fire growth and the fire remains at 10,400 acres after moving across about 55 percent of the planning area. Firefighters adjusted to the change in weather conditions and redirected their efforts to rehabilitation work in the areas previously affected by the fire.
Excellent progress is being made in securing the entire perimeter of the 19,368-acre planning area which defines the outermost boundary of the Castle Fire. The fire has burned north and south from its point of origin, traversing almost 12 miles of the eastern perimeter of the planning area. As the fire established itself, it gained depth and started spreading southwest towards Riggs Canyon.
Grand Canyon National Park fire managers-working with resources from Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Rocky Mountain National Park, Zion National Park, Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, Bryce Canyon National Park, Saguaro National Park and Kaibab National Forest anticipate initiating a prescribed fire treatment as early as tomorrow, as weather and fuel moisture conditions allow.
Grand Canyon National Park fire managers anticipate initiating prescribed pile burning this week as weather and fuel moisture conditions allow. As part of the South Rim Piles Project, they will burn 3,500 piles of woody debris east and west of South Entrance Road and south of Highway 64 (Desert View Drive) East. These 5'x5'x5' piles are comprised of slash left after mechanical thinning or cutting of trees within the 150 acre project area, and are being burned as part of a key objective of the project, which is to reduce the fuel load.
North Zone fire managers on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park have announced locations where they plan to complete prescribed fire projects starting this month and continuing through the spring of 2019. Approximately 10,000 acres could be eligible for treatment across the plateau in Fiscal Year 2019, but the implementation of each project will only occur when weather, fuel moisture, and smoke dispersal conditions are within the defined prescription parameters.
Fire managers are reporting that the Obi Fire has now consumed nearly all of the fuels located in the containment area on the Walhalla Plateau. Fire behavior was observed as creeping with continued smoke production. The final acreage reported for the fire is 11,532. There have been no injuries to firefighters or public reported at this time which achieves our first and highest goal in wildfire management.