July 13, 2016 – People driving the Dalton Highway or flying near Bettles may see smoke from two fires burning in the area. The Bureau of Land Management Fairbanks District Office and BLM Alaska Fire Service have received numerous reports of smoke generated by the Bonanza Fire that was discovered on Monday and the Flats Fire that has been burning since July 5. Neither of these lightning-caused fires are threatening any structures or other known sites of value.
The Bonanza Fire (#411) is burning on BLM land in a limited suppression area seven miles west of the Dalton Highway. Most people report seeing it while driving between mileposts 120 and 130, just south of Gobbler’s Knob. It is burning in black spruce and tundra inside an old burn scar. When flown by BLM AFS personnel on Tuesday, it was reported as 100 percent active and creeping to the northeast and backing to the southwest. It was estimated at three to five acres. The fire will be periodically monitored by BLM AFS personnel.
The Flats Fire (#397) is burning in a modified suppression area in the Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge about 23 miles to the west of the Arctic Circle BLM Wayside at mile 115.5 of the Dalton Highway. When flown by BLM AFS personnel Tuesday, it was showing one smoke plume on the north side of the fire. It’s estimated at 187 acres and creeping in black spruce. This fire will continue to be periodically monitored by BLM AFS.
With the warm weather predicted for the rest of the week, expect these fires to continue to be active and put up smoke that may be visible to people driving and flying in these areas. You can find a map of Alaska fires on the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center website at http://afsfire/incinfo/aklgfire.php. For more information, contact Beth Ipsen, BLM AFS public affairs specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (907)356-5511. Click on this link for a copy of the advisory: 7-13-16 Dalton Hwy smoke flier