Grand Canyon implements temporary road, trail closures on North Rim as crews fight wildfire

Vegetation burns in the Obi Fire on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, July 31, 2018 | Photo courtesy of InciWeb, St. George News

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GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. — Grand Canyon National Park is implementing closures of a road and surrounding trails on the North Rim as firefighters work to contain a wildfire.

Map displays the perimeter of the Obi Fire, indicated in red, on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park | Image courtesy of the National Park Services, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

Cape Royal Road, Cape Final Trail and Cliff Spring Trail will close Saturday at 9 p.m. The closure is for public and firefighter safety as crews combat the fire on Walhalla Plateau.

Park visitors driving along Cape Royal Road or hiking at Cape Final or Cliff Spring are required to be out of the area by the 9 p.m. closure time. The temporary closure is in effect until further notice. The road to Point Imperial and all other North Rim trails and facilities are still open.

The wildfire, referred to by fire managers as the Obi Fire, is approximately 2,270 acres in size as of Friday. Growth has primarily been in the northern and eastern portions of the fire perimeter.

“While crews continue prep of the Walhalla Plateau, we would like to acknowledge the inconvenience it creates for visitors and appreciate their understanding in prioritizing firefighter and public safety,” incident commander trainee Bryan Hakanson said in a news release issued by the National Park Service.

Located in the far southwest corner of the Wahalla Plateau above Obi Point, the Obi Fire started July 21.

The Obi Fire burns on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, July 31, 2018 | Photo courtesy of InciWeb, St. George News

Fire managers plan to continue their current strategy of confining and containing the lightning-caused fire in a predetermined area while providing protection for sensitive natural and cultural resources.

Each fire start is evaluated by fire managers for the most appropriate management strategy. Firefighter safety, resources at risk, location of the fire, available resources, regional and national preparedness levels and weather forecast are taken into consideration when responding to a wildfire.

Smoke from the Obi Fire is visible from both the North and South rims of the park. Visitors may see increased smoke or haze filling the canyon. For more information about air quality at Grand Canyon National Park visit the AirNow website.

Additional information about wildland fires can be found at the Grand Canyon National Park website or by calling 928-638-7819 for recorded fire information.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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