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Grand Canyon National Park Wildfire Doubles In Size, Cutting Off Popular Areas

Yesterday, several trails were closed on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, including the Nankoweap Trail and the Point Imperial Trail, because of the Cat Fire on the Kaibab National Forest.

The fire, which started on Saturday, July 21 by lightning that hit the Walhalla Plateau on the park’s North Rim, has extended to approximately 7,420 acres and has more than doubled in size in three days since Monday.

“We have many wheels turning right now as is often the case within the first 24-72 hours of an incident,” said Mike Uebel, Cat Fire-Stina Fire Incident Commander. “I can’t stress enough the importance to our forest visitors to be aware of your surroundings and adhere to fire closures. These closures are in place not only to protect the public but also to allow firefighters to do their jobs. Fighting fires in this terrain requires an intimate knowledge of the landscape – distractions from people ignoring fire closures is counterproductive to accomplishing that mission.”

The closure order also includes Fire Point on the North Rim. For those traveling to the area, they should check with the Backcountry Information Office or North Rim Visitor Center before setting off.

The park has also closed Cape Royal Road. This closure includes Cape Final Trail, Cliff Spring Trail, the northern section of the Ken Patrick Trail from Point Imperial to Cape Royal Road and the southern section of the Ken Patrick Trail from Cape Royal Road to the old Bright Angel Trail.

The temporary closure of these sites will be in effect until further notice. No other roads in the park are closed at this time. The road to Point Imperial and all other North Rim trails and facilities are currently open.

Year-round fire regulations at Grand Canyon National Park include the following:

Within the park, fires are only allowed in designated campgrounds and may only be ignited in grills or designated fire rings. If you are hiking and camping below the rim, cook stoves may be used, but campfires and other open fires are never allowed. If you are on a river trip, campfires are only allowed in elevated metal pans, and use of a fireproof blanket under the pan is required, according to the National Parks Service.

More fire information on the Kaibab National Forest and associated closures is available at fs.usda.gov/kaibab or @KaibabNF on Facebook and Twitter or by calling (928) 635-8311 for recorded fire information.

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