Community News

News Release: Castle Fire slowly continues burning towards Riggs Canyon

July 30, 2019


FREDONIA, Ariz., July 30, 2019Excellent progress is being made in securing the entire perimeter of the 19,368-acre planning area which defines the outermost boundary of the Castle Fire. The fire has burned north and south from its point of origin, traversing almost 12 miles of the eastern perimeter of the planning area. As the fire established itself, it gained depth and started spreading southwest towards Riggs Canyon.


Traveling across the landscape, the fire is consuming dead and down material, leaving a footprint of lightly smoldering fine surface fuels and the area is now primed for regeneration. Active flames are mostly occurring on the flaming front of the fire, which constitutes a small percentage of the 7,900 acres that have burned over the past 19 days.


Although scattered thunderstorms have visited the general area over the past week, no precipitation has materialized over the Castle Fire. When the rains do arrive however, they will be the catalyst for restoring and renewing the area that the fire has visited.


Since July 12th, the lightning-caused Castle Fire has grown to 7,900 acres. It has now moved across about 40% of the planning area and has 177 personnel assigned. The fire's origin 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.


Following long-term planning and preparation for a natural ignition to occur in the right place and at the right time, fire managers have been allowing the fire to burn naturally within its pre-defined 19,368-acre planning area.


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 (point of origin): 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 177.  
  • Current Size: About 7,900 acres and has spread across about 40% of the 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: