The Castle Fire has spread through more than half of the 19,632-acre planning area that fire managers pre-identified soon after the fire was discovered on July 12th. The fire is currently 10,400 acres in size and has moved across about 55% of the planning area. With 177 personnel assigned, firefighters continue to focus their efforts along the planning area's western edge; the furthest point north which is near Lookout Canyon; and the furthest point south, near Dugway and FR 418.
The Ikes Fire, which started on July 25th, is approximately 25 acres. Fire behavior was active with surface fire of three to five foot flames where the fire was consuming dead logs. The fire is backing and flanking towards the east.
Located 3 miles east of Swamp Point, the Ikes Fire is burning in mixed conifer. Fire managers plan to continue the strategy of confinement and containment in the planning area while providing for point protection of identified sensitive natural and cultural resources.
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.
Because of the potential for severe flooding from areas burned in the Woodbury Fire, a 7-mile, unpaved section of State Route 88 (Apache Trail) will remain closed from an area several miles east of Tortilla Flat to just west of the Apache Lake marina turnoff while the Arizona Department of Transportation continues assessing conditions.
This will be the final evening update for the Museum Fire, unless there is a significant change in fire activity. Updates will continue to be provided once per day.
The Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team 2, led by Incident Commander Rich Nieto, plans to transfer command of the Museum Fire back to the Coconino National Forest tomorrow, July 30, 2019, at 6 PM. A local Type 3 organization led by Incident Commander Preston Mercer will continue to fight the fire.
Yesterday, containment of the Museum Fire reached 61%, extending the established containment line south of Dry Lake Hills east to Mount Elden Lookout Road and Brookbank Trail. Firing operations were conducted on the slopes of Little Elden Mountain to manage interior pockets of active fire.
Recent monsoonal activity in the region resulted in several new lightning ignited fires on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park over the past several days. Fire crews are actively working to suppress three fires within Grand Canyon National Park.
The Lindbergh Fire near Lindbergh Hill is being directly suppressed. Approximately 2 acres in size, current fire behavior is creeping and smoldering within mixed conifer. Fire crews are working to contain the fire at the smallest possible size by digging handline around the fire's perimeter.
The Castle Fire remains moderately active due to available fuels and persistent hot and dry weather. Firefighters will continue to conduct burnout operations as needed to strengthen control lines. During ignitions, there can be a temporary increase in smoke emissions. Mastication work is ongoing along the southern and northwestern portions of the perimeter of the planning area. Aerial ignitions are also being used where appropriate and as needed.
Smoke from the Museum Fire is impacting several Flagstaff communities. Coconino County Health and Human Services is encouraging individuals to take precautions to protect themselves from the health effects of wildfire smoke.