Community News

News Release: Castle Fire steadily grows towards interior of planning area

July 29, 2019

 FREDONIA, Ariz., July 29, 2019The 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.


Although area thunderstorms have been present over the past week, no precipitation has materialized over the Castle Fire. Monday is expected to be hot and dry with the long-term forecast calling for similar weather conditions through mid-week. 


Since July 12th, when it was first discovered, the Castle Fire has grown to 6,706 acres. It is now 35% completed, with 187 personnel assigned. 


Fire managers are allowing the fire to burn naturally within a 19,368-acre planning area where the Castle Fire can bring positive restorative benefits to the land. 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.


When the lightning-caused Castle Fire was first discovered on July 12th, it was located is 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 gradually spreading north and west within the boundaries of the planning area. As it burns naturally through the area, it can be beneficial by removing fuels that could feed future forest fires.


A temporary Closure Order is 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: Three crews, nine engines, a helicopter, a dozer, a chipper, two water tenders, four masticators, and miscellaneous fire management personnel. Total personnel: approximately 187.  
  • Current Size: About 6,706 acres and 35% completed 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. 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: