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Dragon Fire holding and meeting resource objectives at 1,309 acres

Over the last several days, the Dragon Fire has been holding at approximately 1,309 acres in size. The 135-personnel-assigned fire has had minimal spread due to monsoonal precipitation over the Kaibab Plateau. This lightning-caused fire began July 17 and is being allowed to fulfill its natural role in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

dragon fire
Firefighters from the Navajo Hotshot Crew prepare a fire containment line along the W1-C road. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Naturally ignited wildland fires play an important role in fire-adapted ecosystems by reducing dead wood accumulations to ash and releasing nutrients that stimulate new plant growth and help to regulate insect and disease levels. These fires also create a mosaic of burned and unburned vegetation, which increases habitat diversity and breaks up continuous fuels on the forest floor (branches, fallen trees, etc.), which can help limit or slow the intensity and spread of large wildfires in the future.

As of Tuesday, July 26, firefighters have successfully prepared fire containment lines along the W-1/Point Sublime Road, Tiyo Point Trail and W1-C road to remove large, downed fuels. Crews will continue to patrol the fire perimeter, improve line, and remove hazard trees.

The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, and businesses within, remain open for visitors. However, road and trail closures are in effect for the Dragon Fire planning area. The following are closed on the North Rim:

  • North Rim Tiyo Point Trail

  • Widforss Trail

  • Widforss Forest Trail

  • Backcountry Use Area NG9, Outlet Canyon

  • Backcountry Use Area NF9, Widforss Use Area

  • NPS lands above the Coconino Sandstone between Dragon Creek and Transept Canyon that are south of the W1 Road

  • Short-term and intermittent closures of the W1 road between Highway 67 and Point Sublime

Predicted forecast for this week is a continuation of monsoonal activity, generally wet with slightly cooler temperatures and breezy conditions. Temperatures will begin to increase into next week and precipitation is likely to continue. The Dragon Fire still poses no danger to structures or local infrastructure on the North Rim. Smoke from the Dragon Fire will be visible from the North Rim developed area and along the South Rim. On Monday, July 25, the Northern Arizona Type 3 Incident Management Team (Shelby Erickson, Incident Commander) assumed command of the Dragon Fire. Crews will be released from the fire as objectives are met and made available to assist with other wildfires in the country. Remaining resources will patrol and hold the fire perimeter to ensure the fire remains within the planning area.

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