A strike of lightning on July 24, 2018, ignited a wildfire that ravaged eighteen-square-miles. The course of the blaze burned through almost all the fuel in the containment area on the Walhalla Plateau. The fire raged for three weeks. Due to the wind and the dry conditions, the perfect storm was created throughout the area. This caused a perfect storm effect, which made the fire difficult to douse.
Grand Canyon visitors saw smoke from both the South and North Rim during the early weeks of fire. Throughout the blaze’s gluttonous rampage, there was also an eerie haze oozing through the canyon. Yet, it was not until August 4th that portions of the North Rim were shut down.
Fortunately, during the two-week shutdown of these areas throughout the Grand Canyon, most of the facilities remained unaffected. Although, safety was and continues to be the main priority throughout this process. Therefore, for the safety of guests and the mobility of firefighters, trails and well-traveled roads heading toward Bright Angel Point were closed.
August has been a long, scary month for the North Rim and surrounding areas. However, on Saturday, August 18th, good news penetrated the smoke and haze created by the wildfire. The trails and roads on the North Rim were all reopened. The Grand Canyon, in all its glory, could continue operating as usual.
However, hikers are urged to be extra careful when traversing the scorched area, as the fire has weakened it. These paths are not as strong as they were before the fire. Plus, there are still areas that firefighters are combing through. There are still areas that need repair and emergency personnel is working diligently to make those repairs.
For now, though, those close to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon are thankful that the devastation is over. Now, both people and nature can begin to rebuild what was lost. Homes and natural habitats were destroyed in the blaze and that will take years to reconstruct.
Although, at present, everyone is taking a collectively sighing with relief. The danger is passed. Those in and around the North Rim of the Grand Canyon can start to reclaim their lives.