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Fire Closes Access to US Grand Canyon's North Side


Fire has blocked one of the main roads leading to the United States' Grand Canyon National Park, stranding an estimated 1,000 tourists and workers inside the park's North Rim area.

Officials said Monday they had closed Highway 67 leading to the remote north side of the Grand Canyon, one of the most famous natural features of the United States. A statement from the park said rangers are escorting visitors out as safety permits.

A 12,000-hectare blaze known as the Warm Fire, burning since early June in Arizona's North Kaibab National Forest, caused the closure. Officials say they will check conditions daily to decide when to reopen the road.

That fire is just one of many burning in the western United States, in what has been an unusually active beginning to the summer fire season.

The National Interagency Fire Center reports nearly 1.3 million hectares of U.S. land have burned since the beginning of the year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.