Community News

News releasee: Castle Fire progresses at slow and steady pace

July 27, 2019

 FREDONIA, Ariz., July 27, 2019The Castle Fire remains low to moderately active and fire managers are now utilizing aerial ignitions to help fortify the control lines and keep the fire's spread in check. As the fire moves across the landscape, it will encounter areas with dense pockets of fuel that could result in increased fire behavior. The aerial ignitions can be used to target heavily fueled areas which will help lessen the fire intensity as the Castle Fire progresses.

Fire managers have identified the 19,632-acre planning area where the Castle Fire can bring positive restorative benefits to the area. Low intensity wildfire can be advantageous by providing an efficient and safe way to remove the dead and decaying plant material that could act as fuel for future forest fires.

 Fire managers plan well in advance for opportunities such as this. The success in achieving restoration objectives is largely attributed to timing, current weather conditions and available fuel. The appropriate organization of well-trained professional firefighters to develop the plan and execute the work on the ground is essential. 

 Area thunderstorms have not materialized over the fire area and have had minimal effects on the Castle Fire. However, the forecast calls for hotter and drier weather into the weekend.

 When the lightning-caused Castle Fire was first discovered on July 12th, it was located about 11 miles south of Jacob Lake, 3 miles west of Highway 67, and just east of Forest Road 761 near Oquer Canyon. It Is currently 1,720 acres and is spreading north and south along the eastern perimeter of the planning area.


As an added safety measure for both public and firefighters, a temporary Closure Order is now in effect 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 helicopter, a dozer, a chipper, two water tenders, four masticators, and miscellaneous fire management personnel. Total personnel: approximately 182.  
  • Current Size: About 1,720 acres within a 19,632-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. Current weather conditions may influence the use of firing operations which may be conducted as needed in order to strengthen control lines.

Kaibab National Forest information is available through the following sources: