Grand Canyon Fire Scorches 6,000 Acres, Threatens Public Highway

A Grand Canyon fire has burned 6,000 acres of forested area and is now distressingly close to the State Route 67 highway.

The two-week-old fire, which began on June 29, ignited as a result of lightning striking the Grand Canyon’s dry forested area. As many as 511 firefighters are engaged in constructing fire breaks to keep the flames from spreading onto the highway.

The Grand Canyon fire was aided by the remarkable dry weather of the region in addition to robust winds that have pushed the fire onwards.

According to KJZZ, Fuller Fire spokesperson Michelle Fidler stressed the importance of protecting nearby national parks from the fire and being strategic with fighter placements.

“Where we have the opportunity to protect those values at risk, that’s where we’re focusing our resources. So, we have a full range of actions available to us to suppress portions of the fire as needed. Or to help direct of confine the fire spread in certain areas.”

In Colorado, a separate growing wildfire has forced more than 140 people out of their homes, reported the Associated Press.

The small town of Coaldale, approximately 150 miles from Denver, has been ravaged by a 25-square-mile wildfire that also started due to a lightning strike.

Fighter crews have reportedly tamed yet another fire near Boulder that burned no fewer than eight homes.

According to the same report, and quite like the fire at the Grand Canyon, a fire in the mountain village of Timberon in New Mexico has destroyed 70 structures, over 40 of which were homes.

The Grand Canyon trails and a majority of the roads remain closed while personnel try to quell the wildfire. The Arizona Republic reports that of the parks and forest areas that are still open to the public are:

  • North Rim Visitor Center
  • North Rim Lodge
  • North Rim Campground
  • Highway 67
  • Forest State Road 22
  • Rainbow Rim Trail

However, the columns of smoke rising from the North Rim are apparently visible from the trails of the South Rim, as reported by Fox News and noted by people on social media.

The Grand Canyon fire has resulted in an immediate increase in the content of smoke in the air.

AZFamily reported that Mihio Manus, the public information officer for the Navajo Nation, has prescribed a few indicators of a spike in air pollution and precautionary measures to encounter them.

Manus advises people to pay attention to local reports on the air quality. Those with air conditioners in their homes would be better off if they are switched on.

Other precautions include not exercising in the open air and staying inside with doors and windows closed. The list of pointers also advises on using a clean filter for whichever air filtration system is present in a house.

grand canyon fire
This photo provided by the San Bernardino County Fire Department shows a helicopter making a drop on a wildfire that started in western Arizona and jumped the Colorado River into California, near Needles, Calif., Wednesday, April 6, 2016. Two mobile home parks, Pirate's Cove and Park Moabi RV parks in the Mojave Desert south of Needles, were evacuated as firefighters on both sides of the river worked to surround the flames. (San Bernardino County Fire Department via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

In the photograph at the top of the article, the moon passes before the sun in the first annular eclipse seen in the U.S. since 1994 on May 20, 2012, at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. As a result of the Grand Canyon fire, the national park is now closed indefinitely.

[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]