First wildfire of the summer burning in Gates of the Arctic National Park

(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – The lightning-caused Chicken Creek Fire (#303) was discovered by detection aircraft the evening of Sunday, July 1. It is burning within the Gates of the Arctic National Park approximately 22 miles northeast of Bettles and 20 miles west of the Dalton Highway. It is 43.7 acres in size, but is expected to grow in the following days as fuels dry out. Alaska Fire Service and National Park Service fire management staff will continue to monitor the fire’s status during regular overflights of the area. There is currently no threat to Bettles, and a previously burned area between the community and fire will assist in protecting the site should fire behavior change.

The fire is burning in designated wilderness, where it will play an integral role in restoring ecosystem health and helping maintain species diversity. The National Park Service works with its interagency partners, neighboring communities, and other stakeholders to balance the risks and benefits of wildland fire when making decisions on fire management.

For statewide fire information visit: or

Additional information on Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve can be obtained on the website at, or by calling the Fairbanks Alaska Public Lands Information Center at (907) 459-3730, Bettles Visitor Center at (907) 692-5494, or the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center at Coldfoot at (907) 678-5209.


A vicinity map showing the location of Chicken Creek Fire within the Gates of the Arctic National Park boundary.

 More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info

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