Weather challenges Galahad firefighters; new fire start in Kaibab National Forest

Weather conditions Saturday challenged firefighters at the Galahad Fire, Grand Canyon, Arizona, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon National Park's Public Affairs Office, St. George News

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – Saturday’s weather brought higher temperatures, lower relative humidity and gustier winds, testing containment lines for firefighters battling the Galahad Fire at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Late afternoon winds caused four spot fires east of the W-4 Road containment line. A plan was in place in anticipation of the predicted weather and potential spot fires, and firefighters, aided by engines, responded and were working to contain the spot fires across the W-4 Road and south of the Kanbowbitz Cabin as of Saturday night.

These challenging weather conditions are expected to continue over the next few days. The fire is now estimated to be 1,550 acres.

Due to Saturday’s weather conditions, firefighters were unable to conduct any additional burnout operations on the containment lines. They were able to improve and strengthen the previously constructed lines along the W-4 Road to the north and south of the cabin. Firefighters also mopped up along the southern portion of the W-4 Road where burnouts were conducted Friday.  They are also continuing to monitor the natural progress of the fire to the south and west where it is benefiting the landscape.

Saturday, some of the resources on the Galahad Fire, including firefighters and engines, were sent to help with a new fire start in Kaibab National Forest, just north of Grand Canyon National Park. These resources were scheduled to return to the Galahad Fire Saturday night. There were still more than 135 interagency personnel assigned to the Galahad Fire and additional resources being ordered.

Two road closures are in effect for public and firefighter safety: The W-4 Road is closed from the junction of the FS268B road south to Point Sublime; the W-1 Road, also known as the Point Sublime Road, is closed from the W-4 junction, east to the western end of the Basin.

The lightning-caused Galahad Fire was discovered on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park on Friday, May 23 on the Walla Valley Peninsula, west of the main park road.  The fire is being managed for resource and protection objectives, including returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem to maintain forest health and protection of sensitive cultural resources and wildlife habitat.

Resources

  • Follow the progress of the Galahad Fire, view maps and pictures on Inciweb
  • For additional fire information, call 928-638-7819 (recorded message) or follow @GrandCanyonNPS on Twitter

Submitted by Grand Canyon National Park public affairs office

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