Lightning starts 17 wildfires in 96 hours on Grand Canyon North Rim, Kaibab National Forest

Used for illustrative purposes only, this photo shows a lightning storm in St. George, Utah, July 10, 2018 | Photo by and courtesy of Michael Klunker, St. George News

FREDONIA, ARIZ. — Over the past four days, North Zone fire personnel, consisting of firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service, responded jointly to 17 lightning-caused wildfire ignitions located on both the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and adjacent North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.

Closer to St. George, the Mokaac Fire on the Arizona Strip about 15 miles to the south, which was started by lightning Sunday evening, was most recently reported to be 80 percent contained after burning approximately 1,650 acres. No structures have been threatened, and there are no road or trail closures.

Lightning-caused wildfires are a common occurrence during the monsoon season (typically late-June through late-July), but according to a press release from the Kaibab National Forest, fire officials are reminding visitors that the North Kaibab Ranger District is still in Stage II fire restrictions, and will remain in effect until more monsoonal moisture arrives.

Forest officials would also like to remind visitors that having a campfire on the national forest while under fire restrictions is a violation of the law requiring a mandatory appearance in federal court and consequent fines and possibly jail time. Visitors should use extra caution when recreating on all public lands during fire season.

Members of the public can find additional information through the following sources:

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

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  • Bender July 11, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Not sure who wrote this since there is no attribution. My understanding, and experience, is that monsoon season on the North Kaibab generally begins early/mid-July and runs through the end of August and into September, not late-June through late-July as described in story.

    • Paul Dail July 11, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      Bender, thanks for your comment. With the exception of the information about the Mokaac Fire, the bulk of the information came from a press release from Kaibab National Forest officials, including the typical dates of monsoon season.

      Paul Dail
      Editor, reporter

      • DRT July 11, 2018 at 5:53 pm

        Paul, don’t you know by now that you just can’t trust what them government types tell you? 😉

  • Mike P July 11, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    That’s it. We’ve had enough. I think it’s time we ban ALL lightning during fire season.

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