North Rim fires slowed by rain; road and trail closures remain in effect
NORTH RIM, Ariz. — Although rain showers along the North Rim have dampened the fires, trail and road closures remain in effect on both the North Kaibab and Grand Canyon National Park.
Favorable weather conditions have led to additional growth on the Castle Fire. Firefighters are successfully conducting firing operations to secure the western edge of the planning area. The fire has moved across 11,900 acres since it was discovered July 12. A combination of fire suppression strategies have been used to confine the Castle Fire to the 19,632-acre planning area, where it has been allowed to function as a natural disturbance process.
Unburned fuels still exist along Lookout Canyon and to the east towards the interior of the planning area. Mastication work has been ongoing to fortify the western edge of the planning area which runs mostly along Forest Road 226 and Lookout Canyon. As the fire continues to travel west and south, the areas where the fire has left its footprint are continually being assessed for rehab work that includes suppression repair where the soil, disturbed by the construction of hand and dozer lines, is returned to a more natural state.
Waterbars, or small earth berms, are also being constructed in strategic locations to help minimize soil erosion. This type of work is implemented once the fire has left its mark, and when firefighters can safely access the burned areas. The Castle Fire has traveled across 60 percent of the 19,632-acre planning area.
Kaibab National Forest managers have implemented a temporary Closure Order for the Castle Fire area in order to provide for public and firefighter safety. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the fire area.
Grand Canyon National Park has temporarily instituted closures for the portion of the Ikes Fire Planning Area that is within Grand Canyon National Park. The following areas are closed:
- The Powell Plateau Trail on the North Rim of Grand Canyon;
- The North Bass Trail on the North Rim of Grand Canyon;
- Fire Point on the North Rim of Grand Canyon;
- Swamp Point on the North Rim of Grand Canyon and
- The W4 road north of Kanabownits Lookout on the North Rim of Grand Canyon.
Closures will remain in effect until further notice. Other roads and trails in the planning area may be temporarily blocked off due to hazards and fire personnel working in the area.
The Ikes Fire remains mildly active even after receiving some precipitation over the past several days. The fire has grown to approximately 55 acres, nearly doubling in size in the past two days.
Fire crews continue to improve control lines around the planning area in anticipation of the fire’s continued growth. The crews are clearing brush and felling hazardous snags along the planning area perimeter.
Grand Canyon National Park is receiving interagency support from two Type Two Initial Attack handcrews and local resources from the Kaibab National Forest and the Grand Canyon National Park. Other resources assigned to the fire are four engines, a medic team, a water tender, safety officer, fire effects monitors, and a resource advisor.
The Ikes Fire poses no danger to structures or local infrastructure.
Information provided NPS and USFS