ANCHORAGE – Hotspots were detected on the 778-acre McHugh Fire on Monday during a helicopter flight equipped with an infrared camera. Firefighters will focus on these areas as the suppression efforts begin to slow down. The five hotshot crews from California were demobilized Monday evening and will return to their home bases to be available for higher priority fires. Alaskans are thankful for the professional response of Feather River, Eldorado, Tahoe, American River and Lakeview hotshot crews.
There will be an Open House at Goldenview Middle School, 15800 Golden View Dr., on Wednesday evening, July 27, at 6 p.m. Come and learn the latest information on the fire and meet the professionals who are doing the work.
Firefighters removed the structure protection equipment from the Potter Valley and Rainbow Valley subdivisions on Monday. Three Alaskan firefighting crews remain on the fire where they will focus their efforts on the detected hotspots and continue to reinforce containment lines by expanding the fire’s perimeter to a width of 300-feet where it is practical and safe to do so.
State park officials have opened the Rabbit Creek Trail to Rabbit Lake in the Chugach State Park. The trails and adjacent parklands between the Potter Creek and Rainbow trailheads, including all of the McHugh Creek and Rainbow Creek drainages, remain closed to public use. Closures specifically include the Turnagain Arm Trail between Potter and Rainbow, the McHugh Creek Trail and the Rainbow Peak Trail as well as the McHugh Creek wayside, Beluga Point pull out and Rainbow trailhead. Fire managers are working with state park officials to reopen the trails in the future.
Motorists should continue to use caution when driving the Seward Highway through the fire area. The 35 mph speed limit continues through the affected fire area but has been shortened to mile 110 to 112 (McHugh Creek to Beluga Point), pull offs outside that area are now open. Falling rocks and debris are causing intermittent road closures of the Seward Highway due to heavy rain over the burn-affected area. For updated highway information call 511 the State of Alaska Department of Transportation Traveler Information line.
The fire began July 16 in Chugach State Park, just south of Anchorage. Fire investigators are working in the area.
A Temporary Flight Restriction remains in effect over the fire area. In addition, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles or “drones” is prohibited within the restricted airspace in order to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft.
Information about the fire can be found at:
- Facebook: Alaska DNR – Division of Forestry (DOF)
- Recorded Incident Information: 907-343-4701
- Anchorage Air Quality Advisory: 907-343-4899
- Incident Command Post Information Office: 907-742-8286
The Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team will continue to provide daily fire updates and will provide additional updates as needed, depending upon fire activity.