Fairbanks District Office
July 11, 2015 Release No. AK15-30
For Immediate Release Contact: Craig McCaa
BLM Closes Nome Creek Valley Again After
Strong Winds Rekindle U.S. Creek Fire
FAIRBANKS, AK — Strong winds and hot, dry weather rekindled the U.S. Creek Fire on Saturday afternoon, forcing the Bureau of Land Management’s Eastern Interior Field Office to close the Nome Creek valley in the White Mountains National Recreation Area for a second time this summer. The Nome Creek valley includes the Mt. Prindle and Ophir Creek campgrounds, Nome Creek Road, Table Top Mountain and Quartz Creek trails, and the put-in for Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River.
The closure took effect at 5 p.m. today. Yesterday the BLM had reopened Nome Creek valley after a period of cooler weather and rain resulted in minimal fire activity in the area.
The western portion of the White Mountains (Wickersham Dome area) also remains closed due to the Aggie Creek Fire. Information on other Alaska wildland fires and BLM’s temporary fire restrictions may be found at http://akfireinfo.com.
United States Department ofthe Interior
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Eastern Interior Field Office
1150 University A venue
Fairbanks, Alaska 99709-3844
TEMPORARY CLOSURE ORDER
July 11, 2015
Nome Creek Valley in the
White Mountains National Recreation Area
Location: Nome Creek valley in the White Mountains National Recreation Area, Alaska: Township 6 North, Range 3 East, Sections 1 and 2, 11-14, and 23-26 ; Township 6 North, Range 4 E ast, Sections 1-30; Township 6 North, Range 5 East, Sections 1-30 ; Township 6 North, Range 6 East, Sections 5-8 , 17-20, 29-30; Fairbanks Meridian.
Order: Effective at 5:00pm, July 11, 2015, the above BLM public lands will be temporarily closed to all public access for public safety and emergency wildland frre suppression operations.
Dates: This temporary closure on public access to the Nome Creek valley will remain in effect from July 11, 2015, until such time as public health and safety are no longer at risk due to wildland frre incidents on public lands in and adjacent to the closure area. The BLM will provide appropriate public notification when public access restrictions are lifted for the area.
Supplemental Information: The temporary closure order will be posted at the major entry points to the closure area at Mile ’42 and Mile 57 Steese Highway. The closure will be enforced by wildland fire suppression and law enforcement personnel. Copies ofthe closure order and maps of the closed area will be available at the BLM Fairbanks District Office. The closure will also be publicized on the BLM website and distributed to local government agencies and media contacts.
Rationale: The purpose ofthis temporary public access restriction is to minimize risks to public health and safety from an active wildland fire incident occurring in the vicinity of US Creek. This incident was started by lightning on June 22. Current extreme fire conditions and Red Flag warnings have created the possibility of further fire spread, possibly cutting offthe only road access to Nome Creek valley. During the temporary closure, the BLM may utilize facilities in the Nome Creek valley as base camps for wildland fire suppression operations.
Penalties: This temporary closure order has been implemented under the authority of Section 303(a) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1733(a)), and 43 CFR 9268.3(d). Any person who violates the above restriction order may be issued a citation, tried before a United States Magistrate, and fined no more than $1,000, imprisoned for no more than 12 months, or both. Such violations may also be subject to the enhanced fmes provided for by 18 U.S.C. 3571 and 3581.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.