Firefighters successful in holding the line in Galahad Fire

galahadOn Sunday, firefighters were successful in holding the Galahad Fire to the west of the W-4 Road, even though they were faced with higher temperatures, lower relative humidity and gusty winds. On Saturday, these same conditions caused three spot fires across the W-4 road to the east, but firefighters were able to quickly contain them.

The fire is estimated at 1,975 acres.

The lightning-caused Galahad Fire was discovered on Friday, May 23, 2014 on the Walla Valley Peninsula, west of the main park road. The fire is being managed for resource and protection objectives including returning fire to a fire-adapted ecosystem.

On Sunday, firefighters focused on searching for new spot fires east of the W-4 Road. No additional spots were detected. Fire managers do not want the fire to become established east of the W-4 Road due to the lack of any effective fire breaks or safety zones for firefighters. Containment lines on the W-4 Road continued to be improved by firefighters north and south of Kanabownits Cabin. Helicopters were used to assist firefighters in detecting fire spots east of the W-4 Road and for water drops along the fire’s northern flank to reduce activity below the canyon rim.

Wind patterns will likely carry the smoke to the northeast towards Marble Canyon and Page, Arizona. Smoke may be visible over a wide area in both northern Arizona and southern Utah. The smoke may also settle into some of the valleys and lower areas in the morning hours in Grand Canyon National Park and the neighboring Kaibab National Forest, but is expected to lift during the day as temperature rise.

Visitors to the Grand Canyon are urged to reduce their speeds and turn on headlights when traveling in areas of smoke.

Two road closures are in effect for public and firefighter safety; the W-4 Road is closed from the junction of the FS268B road south to Point Sublime and the W-1 Road, also known as the Point Sublime Road, is closed from the W-4 junction, east to the western end of the Basin.

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