GRAND CANYON - NORTH RIM, Ariz. - As of July 18, the Fuller Fire on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) is growing in an easterly and northeasterly direction reaching more than 13,685 acres. The fire has not reached the Navajo Nation but reports of heavy smoke is impacting areas of Cameron, Bodaway/Gap, Coppermine, Kaibeto, Inscription House, Shonto and Kayenta.
The lightning caused fire started June 29, by Friday, July 15, 20 mph winds from the south and southwest caused the fire to grow to 2,949 acres. Over the weekend the fire consumed an additional 10,736 acres growing to a total capacity of 13,685 acres.
Fire managers said higher humidity was slowing fire growth and ecological benefits were present. Around 554 personnel are assigned to the fire.
"This fire will help restore and protect the beauty and health of this forest for generations to come," said Chris Marks, National Park Service deputy fire management officer. "This is an incredibly unique opportunity for visitors to see not only the canyon itself, but fire playing its role on the land."
The Fuller Fire is being managed for both resource and protection objectives. Resource objectives include returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem. Protection objectives include the protection of sensitive wildlife habitat and other values at risk.
Winds continued to spur natural fire growth to the north across fire-adapted landscape. However, increased cloud cover and higher humidity moderated fire behavior, allowing for additional control work to the northeast and south. Crews conducted burnout operations on the northeast end of the fire near Forest Service Road 8910 in the South Canyon Point area. Firefighters conducted two miles of burnout operations overnight July 17 along Cape Royal Road to help prevent new fire spread on the Walhalla Plateau.
Higher humidity throughout July 18 reduced fire spread along most of the fire perimeter. Firefighters said they will continue to hold and strengthen existing firelines along Cape Royal Road. Crews will utilize existing roads and dozer line in the northeast to limit future fire spread in this area as the fire moves in grass areas. Pending favorable conditions, burnout operations may occur to strengthen this fireline.
Helicopters were utilized for reconnaissance flights and dropping water on the northeast side of the fire.
Closures include all USFS areas east of Highway 67 and south of Tater Ridge Rd (FSR 213) and east of House Rock Valley Rd (FSR 8910). Arizona Trail on Lindberg Hill north to GCNP boundary, Ken Patrick Trail starting at the Uncle Jim Trail junction. The Point Imperial Trail, Nankoweap Trail, Saddle Mountain Trail and South Canyon Trail. Road closures include Fuller Canyon Road, Cape Royal Road, Point Imperial Road, FSR 610 and FSR 611. Closures will be in place until further notice. Highway 67 and the North Rim Visitor Center, Lodge and Campground are open as well as FSR22 and Rainbow Rim Trail on Kaibab National Forest.
With moderated fire growth, fire mangers anticipate light smoke from the fire activity. Smoke may spread to the northeast reaching into Page, Kayenta and the northeast areas of the Navajo Nation. More information on smoke and air quality is available at wildlandfire.az.gov/links.asp#smoke.
Fire managers are asking the public not to fly drones near wildfires: Please remember, if you fly, we can't. Drones near wildfires are not safe.
More information on drones and firefighting efforts is available at www.nifc.gov/drones.