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.
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.
Operations have been successful in allowing the lightning caused Castle Fire to reduce accumulations of dead and down forest vegetation. This will contribute to a regeneration and renewal of this area, creating new habitat for wildlife while forming a buffer for larger fires that may occur in the future.
The visible increase in smoke from the Castle Fire is due to the warmer and drier trend in weather. Yesterday, the Castle Fire continued to spread into Lookout Canyon generating smoke both from its movement south to the confinement lines and from interior pockets of dead and down vegetation fanned by light winds. These pockets of dead and down fuel will continue smoldering for several weeks or until a significant amount of wetting rain occurs on the fire area.
The Castle Fire's acreage continues to hold at 16,538 for the fourth day in a row. Precipitation and increased humidity continue to affect fire behavior causing a temporary stall in the fire's growth. However warm, dry days are in the forecast and the fire is expected to regain momentum and continue its path through remaining unburned fuels in the area of Lookout Canyon.
The Castle Fire's acreage held at 16,538 today due to more consistent showers over the fire area. While precipitation does have a direct effect on fire behavior, it can be very effective in moderating or temporarily halting the fire's spread. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the fire is over. Warmer, drier days, such as those predicted in the long-term forecast can provide just enough heat to keep the fire moving through the fuels that are still available in the unburned areas.
The Castle Fire made another push westward on Monday, resulting in a 3,100-acre gain. The fire's path has covered 15,000 acres within the pre-identified planning area of 19,632 acres. Favorable conditions including dry weather over the western edge of the planning area, available fuels and topography have contributed to the fire's spread.
The Castle Fire remains mildly active as intermittent pulses of precipitation visit the fire area with increasing frequency. The forest floor on the eastern half of the fire is blackened and recent rain showers have evenly saturated most of that area. The evidence of the wildfire is found deep within isolated smoldering stumps that are scattered throughout the area.