Community News

News Release: Preparation efforts ongoing in advance of Castle Fire's expected growth

July 23, 2019

 FREDONIA, Ariz., July 23, 2019The Castle Fire continues to grow slowly as it burns along the northeast perimeter.  As planned, the fire is backing downslope towards the interior of the planning area.  On occasion, when the fire reaches heavy pockets of dead and down logs, fire behavior increases, resulting in increased smoke emissions.  


The lightning-caused wildfire was detected on July 12th and is being allowed to fulfill its natural role within a fire-dependent ecosystem.  It is approximately 850 acres and remains active within the predetermined planning area of 19,368 acres. The Castle Fire is located about 11 miles south of Jacob Lake, 3 miles west of Highway 67, and just east of Forest Road 761 near Oquer Canyon.


Yesterday, wildland fire crews continued work on prepping the northern boundary of the planning area. Strategic firefighting efforts include continuing to reinforce the eastern boundary of the planning area, as well.  The goal is to secure the entire perimeter before the fire advances towards the outer edges of the predetermined perimeter.


Firefighters are using firing operations to eliminate fuels that can carry fire, such as down and dead logs and continuous grasses.  Once the fire reaches these treated areas, it's movement will be halted or slowed significantly.


Fire managers anticipate that the Castle Fire will remain low to moderately active for several weeks as it slowly moves across the landscape. Weather conditions are predicted to remain warm and dry, contributing to the wildfire's continued gradual growth.


A Closure Order is in place for the Castle Fire area:


The Castle Fire poses no danger to structures or other local infrastructure.



  • Discovery Date: July 12, 2019.
  • Cause: Lightning.
  • Location: Approximately 11 miles south of Jacob Lake, 3 miles west of Highway 67, and just east of Forest Road 761 near Oquer Canyon on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.
  • Current Resources: Four crews, eight engines, a dozer, a chipper, two water tenders, four masticators, and miscellaneous fire management personnel. Total personnel: approximately 167.  
  • Current Size: About 850 acres within a 19,368-acre planning area.
  • Predicted Smoke Impacts: Smoke is expected to be visible from both the north and south rims of Grand Canyon National Park, Jacob Lake, Highway 67, Highway 89A, and Fredonia. 
  • Current Closures: Kaibab National Forest managers have implemented a temporary Closure Order for the Castle Fire area in order to provide for public and firefighter safety.  For specific information about the Closure Order, please visit:
  • Recent and Current Operations: Wildland fire crews plan to continue improving roads and other designated perimeters within which the fire can move. Firing operations may be conducted as needed to strengthen control lines.

Kaibab National Forest information is available through the following sources: