A rapidly growing wildfire has led to several road and trail closures at Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park.
The Obi Fire, started on Saturday, July 21 by lightning that struck the Walhalla Plateau on the park’s North Rim, has spread to an estimated 7,420 acres as of Wednesday, Aug. 8. It more than doubled in size over the course of three days; estimates reported the fire's size at 3,550 acres on Monday.
According to InciWeb officials, southwesterly winds combined with dry air have continued to spread the fire through the park’s ponderosa pines and brush areas, leading to temporary closures of the Cape Royal Road.
Several trails are also closed as a result, including the Cape Final Trail, the Cliff Spring Trail, the northern portion of the Ken Patrick Trail stretching from Point Imperial to Cape Royal Road, and the southern section of the trail, which stretches from Cape Royal Road into the Bright Angel Trail.
The road closures will remain in effect until further notice as firefighters continue to tackle the flames. Smoke from the fire can now be seen on both the park’s North and South Rims.
The road to Point Imperial and the park’s other North Rim trails are still open at this time, though visitors will want to check on the park’s air quality conditions before their arrival.