News Release: Persistence results in additional growth on the Castle Fire

August 7, 2019

 FREDONIA, Ariz., August 7, 2019The Castle Fire continues its gradual spread westward towards Lookout Canyon. Low to moderate fire behavior along almost four miles of the fire's active front has resulted in an additional 1,538 acres. To date, the fire has covered 16,538 acres within the pre-identified planning area of 19,632 acres. This fire's persistence can be attributed to favorable conditions including intermittent spells of dry weather over the western edge of the planning area, available fuels and the area's unique topography, all being key factors that have contributed to the fire's spread.


Anticipating that this would be considered a long-term event, fire managers allowed this naturally ignited, lightning-caused fire to burn across the landscape from the time it was detected on July 12th to present. The Castle Fire was different than most by burning at a lower intensity, over an extended period of time to prepare the forest floor for regeneration and renewal.


Firefighters will continue mastication work along the western and southern perimeters to ensure that they are secure enough to hold the fire within the planning area. The biggest challenge along Forest Road 226, which is also the western perimeter of the planning area, has been the powerline that exists along this corridor. Extensive and advanced preparation along almost ten miles of Forest Road 226 will ensure that any potential for increased fire behavior has been mitigated. This work, coupled with the fire's positive effects on the land, will result in long lasting improvements, both ecologically and to existing infrastructure.


Today's weather forecast: Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy. Slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Light winds with gusts to 16 mph in the afternoon. Erratic winds near thunderstorms.


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.


A Closure Order remains in effect for the Castle Fire area:   https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6439/



  • 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: Two crews, four engines, a helicopter, a dozer, three masticators, two feller bunchers, one skidder, and miscellaneous fire management personnel. Total personnel: approximately 119.  
  • Current Size: About 16,538 acres and it has spread across about 84% of the 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:  https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6439/
  • 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. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area. 

Kaibab National Forest information is available through the following sources:


Flickr: http://bit.ly/CastleFire2019