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Grand Canyon fire threatens road to lodge; other fires burning across state

A wildfire burns on the north rim of the Grand Canyon as seen from the Bright Angel Trail below the south rim of the canyon in Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, Thursday, July 14.
David Wallace/The Arizona Republic via AP

A wildfire burns on the north rim of the Grand Canyon as seen from the Bright Angel Trail below the south rim of the canyon in Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, Thursday, July 14.

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK (AP) — Strong winds and low humidity have fueled the growth of a wildfire that could potentially threaten a highway serving the lodge, restaurant and main campgrounds on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Fire officials say weather conditions Friday have caused a 2-week-old wildfire to char 5.7 square miles.

Crews continued Saturday to work to keep the blaze east of State Route Highway 67.

The potential for aggressive fire activity may limit their ability to battle it in some areas.

Approximately 430 personnel are working on the lightning-caused fire, which has damaged a landscape of aspen and pine since June 29.

The volume of smoke prompted a health alert in Albuquerque, where city environmental officials have warned of a light haze in the air.

Here are some of the main Arizona fires, according to the Forest Service’s incident information website:

The Baca Fire

Ten percent of a 3,882-acre fire caused by lighting is contained. The blaze is in the Baca Float, 27 miles south of the I-40/Anvil Rock Road intersection. Due to remoteness of the fire burning in steep, rugged and inaccessible terrain with minimal values to be protected within 5 miles of the fire, a modified suppression strategy will be utilized to maximize firefighter and public safety as well as make suppression costs commensurate with values to be protected.

The Scott Fire

The Scott fire was discovered on June 28. It has reached a total size of 2,660 acres and is not expected to grow any further. It began on a north slope in a remote area on the Coconino rim on the east side of the Tusayan Ranger District. The cause is reported to have been lighting.

The Peaks Fire

This blaze started June 20 during a storm, by lightning. It is 96 percent contained and has burned 427 acres 10 miles north of the Tonto Basin Visitor Center in the Four Peaks Wilderness Area, Tonto National Forest.

The Airstrip Fire

The Airstrip Fire was discovered on June 29, and is currently at 679 acres in size. The fire is located just south of the town of Tusayan on the east side of highway 64.

The Cedar Fire

This fire began June 15 and the cause is undetermined. It involves 45,977 acres 18 miles northwest of Whiteriver, 10 miles south of Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low.

Monsoonal rains received over the fire area the past four days significantly reduced activity on the fire. The remaining firefighters are removing miscellaneous equipment and monitoring the fire. Interior smoke from tree stumps are smoldering.

The Wildcat Fire

This fire began June 13 by lightning. It is south of Highway 89, southwest of Forest Road 8910 in the vicinity of Saddle Mountain Wilderness. The North Canyon and South Canyon trail closures associated with the Wildcat Fire on the North Kaibab Ranger District were lifted July 6.

The Juniper Fire

The Juniper Fire is now being managed by the Pleasant Valley Ranger District fire managers who will continue to work on suppression repair. It was started by lightning May 20, approximately 10 miles south of Young.

The Bert Fire

The Bert Fire, discovered May 29 was caused by lightning and has grown to approximately 5,983 acres. It is located near the junction of forest road 144 and highway 180 approximately 10 miles southeast of the community of Valle. It is considered 75 percent contained.


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