Fuller Fire burns near access to North Rim of Grand Canyon

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jul 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-17 01:50:44-04

Strong winds and low humidity have fueled the growth of a wildfire that could potentially threaten a highway serving the lodge, restaurant and main campgrounds on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Fire officials say weather conditions Friday have caused a 2-week-old wildfire to char thousands of acres.

Crews continued Saturday to work to keep the blaze east of State Route Highway 67. By the end of the day, officials said the fire had covered 5,940 acres and was 0 percent contained.

The potential for aggressive fire activity may limit their ability to battle it in some areas.

Approximately 430 personnel are working on the lightning-caused fire, which has damaged a landscape of aspen and pine since June 29.

The volume of smoke led to impacts far away from where the fire is burning. Officials issued a health alert in Albuquerque as the city's environmental department reported a light haze in the air. On the Navajo Nation, heavy smoke was said to impact the areas of Cameron, Bodaway/Gap, Coppermine, Kaibeto, Inscription House, Shonto and Kayenta, according to a statement from the tribe.

Those living in the listed areas were asked to take precautionary measures in anticipation of dealing with smoke inhalation.

Firefighters said the outlook for Sunday was better than previous days, with anticipated higher humidity levels possibly slowing the fire's growth. Officials planned to focus on keeping the fire east of Highway 67 and north of Cape Royal Road.

The highway and the main North Rim park attractions remained open.