The Kaibab National Forest has been allowing the lightning-caused Castle Fire to spread within a defined area in order to fulfill its natural role of reducing dense forest fuels and improving overall ecosystem health. The wildfire has now moved across the entire 19,368-acre planning area, and additional perimeter growth is not anticipated. However, pockets of unburned vegetation remain within the wildfire's interior and may burn over the coming days.
The Castle Fire has been burning in an area with dense mixed conifer, heavy fuel loading, and a significant amount of dead and down trees. Allowing the fire to act as a natural disturbance process in the ecosystem helps meet a variety of resource objectives including restoring the forest structure to more historic conditions, reducing spruce and fir encroachment of area meadows, removing fuels that could feed future severe wildfires, and promoting aspen regeneration.
A temporary Closure Order is in place for the Castle Fire area, effective July 23, 2019. For details about the closure go to www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/kaibab/alerts-notices.
Date of Origin:
Friday July 12th, 2019 approx. 02:30 PM
In the vicinity of Oquer Canyon. Approx. 6 miles west of State Highway 67 and 11 miles south south of Jacob Lake, AZ
Estimated Containment Date:
Tuesday October 15th, 2019 approx. 12:00 AM
Timber (litter and understory)
Management of the wildfire has transitioned to a smaller Type 4 organization and will continue to downsize through the demobilization of resources as the fire continues to wind down. Crews will continue to patrol the fire, mop up remaining hot spots near control lines, repair and rehabilitate areas where suppression actions were taken, and clear hazardous snags and debris along roadways in and around the fire area.
Projected Incident Activity:
Fire crews will patrol, monitor, mop up, and repair fire suppression actions over the next several days.
The Castle Fire exists entirely within the pre-identified planning area in which the lightning-caused fire has been allowed to fulfill its natural role within a fire-dependent ecosystem. The fire has burned through a majority of the 19,368-acre planning area, leaving a mosaic of islands of unburned fuels together with openings that will benefit wildlife and the forest ecosystem into the future. Some pockets of unburned vegetation remain within the wildfire’s interior that may burn over the coming days. By allowing the wildfire to naturally burn through this area, the ecosystem will become healthier and more resilient.
A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire.
Low relative humidity levels and gusty southwest winds are expected today.
Williams Dispatch Center
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