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Update on Grand Canyon North Rim Closure

June 27, 2006

Update on Grand Canyon North Rim Closure
June 27, 2006 – A warm fire north of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona has closed Highway 67 from Jacob Lake, Ariz., to the North Rim Visitors Center. The fire, which started on June 8, 2006 by lightning, is burning approximately 30 miles north of the North Rim developed area. The South Rim is unaffected and open to all visitors.

The North Kaibab Ranger District closed to public access this morning at 8 a.m. and will remain closed until further notice.

The fire stranded approximately 800 tourists and 150 employees, officials said. The National Park Service along with Joe Reinarz’s Northern Arizona Type 2 Incident Management Team began escorting visitors out of the North Rim on Monday. Seventy-seven vehicles were escorted out of the park and into Fredonia, Ariz., using Forest Road 22, a dirt road west of the fire.

On Tuesday, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety, and Arizona Department of Transportation were working to evaluate Highway 67 to determine if it is safe and free of hazards. Once this has been determined the remaining visitors and park employees will be escorted from the park. If it is determined that Highway 67 is not passable the National Park Service and the IMT will continue to escort visitors out of the park using Forest Road 22.

NPS officials hope to have the remaining 150 vehicles escorted out of the park by noon Tuesday. Park employees will be escorted out sometime early Tuesday afternoon. Coconino County Emergency Services in coordination with the American Red Cross are working to set up facilities to provide support for park employees and residents that will be escorted from the park. Additional information on the location of those facilities will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

Information on the status of North Rim Lodging can be obtained by calling 888.297.2757. Information on camping can be obtained by calling Spherix at 1.800.365.2267 and for backcountry camping, please call Grand Canyon’s Backcountry Information Center at 1.928.638.7875.

For additional information on the Warm Fire, please contact the Northern Arizona Type 2 Incident Management Team at one of the following phone numbers: 928.643.6804, 1.928.640.6103 or 6104.

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