Anaconda Creek and West Fork Fires update, July 3

Both the Anaconda Creek and the West Fork fires received heavy amounts of rain yesterday. The storm increased the risk of trees falling in the fire area, as well as the significant rise in river levels around the West Fork fire. Due to the precipitation in the Tanana Valley there is a small stream flood advisory for Fairbanks. Deteriorating roads and access trails to the fire have been impacted by the damp conditions and slowed fire operations. Aviation missions were also hampered due to poor visibility from low clouds and smoke.

Despite unfavorable conditions, firefighters took advantage of the wet weather on the West Fork Fire and achieved 95% containment of the fire yesterday. Containment status of a wildfire suppression action signifying that a control line has been completed around the fire, and any associated spot fires, which can reasonably be expected to stop the fire spread.

Warmer temperatures and sunny skies are predicated for today. This will begin to improve the roads and trails for improved access to the Anaconda Creek Fire. Some of the resources from the West Fork will shift over to the Anaconda Creek Fire and assist with the completion of the contingency line.

During the 4th of July weekend, it is important to remember that there is still a ban on the use of, or explosion of, fireworks within the Fairbanks North Star Borough. This was authorized through Borough Code 8.08.030 and includes areas outside the cities of Fairbanks and North Pole. This ban will continue until further notice.

Closures remain in effect for all trails and cabins north of Chena Hot Springs Road in the Chena River State Recreation Area. All trails south of Chena Hot Springs Road are open. Chena Hot Springs and local businesses also remain open. For more information about closures please contact Brooks Ludwig at (907) 451-2698, or brooks.ludwig@alaska.gov.

Temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) are in effect over the Anaconda Creek Fire and the West Fork Fire. Pilots are advised to visit http://www.pilotweb.nas.faa.gov to view these Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs), and additional TFRs also in place across Alaska.

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