Over two hundred firefighters joined the ranks of the three hundred persons already battling the Eagle Rock wildfire burning south of Grand Canyon National Park. 533 personnel are now assigned to the fire. They include sixteen twenty-person crews, nineteen fire engines and one helicopter. Two air tankers and one lead plane were on standby for Saturday. There are a number of resources prepared for any new fires.
Friday proved to be a very productive day for firefighters. The fire remained at approximately 3,400 acres and was 40% contained as of Saturday morning.
Almost all residents who were evacuated on Thursday and Friday have been allowed to return to their homes. Due to smoke and firefighting operations in the area, a few residents remain evacuated. A portion of the Spring Valley Road (County Rd 141) remains closed due to fire activity. In addition, there is an Emergency Fire Closure around the immediate fire perimeter. Specific closure information may be found at http://inciweb.org/incident/1989/.
A public meeting was held Friday night in Parks, AZ with over 80 people in attendance. Northern Arizona Type Two Incident Management Team Commander John Philbin explained tactics and strategies employed in the continuing suppression effort. Several audience members asked questions pertaining to fire operation procedures.
The Arizona Daily Sun reported that some residents were upset because their after-hours calls to the Kaibab National Forest’s voicemail system went unanswered until the following morning. Officials pointed out that calls should have been made to 911. 911 has people answering that “hot line” 24/7. It is unknown why callers decided not to use the fire-emergency call-in center.
Saturday’s plan calls for building fire lines, “burning out” as needed, and mopping-up around the fire perimeter. The Eagle Rock Fire is located approximately 11 miles northeast of Williams, on northeast side Sitgreaves Mountain. The cause of the fire remains under investigation but is believed to be lightning.
Kaibab Lake on the Williams Ranger District is closed to boating due to helicopter refilling water tanks on the lake. (See photo slide show below.) The east side of the lake is closed to fishing. However, the campground remains open for camping.
Find this article informative? Receive e-mail alerts when new Grand Canyon National Park articles are available. Just click on the “Subscribe” button above.