Fairbanks state forestry monitoring small wildfire near Mile 62 of Steese Highway

A photo of the 25-acre Cripple Creek Fire near milepost 62 of the Steese Highway north of Fairbanks as seen from a helicopter reconnaissance flight on Tuesday. Photo by Isaac Solomon/Alaska Division of Forestry

The Alaska Division of Forestry’s Fairbanks Area office is continuing to monitor a small wildfire burning about 1 ½ miles west of the Steese Highway near milepost 62. Smoke from the 25-acre Cripple Creek Fire (#201) is visible from U.S. Creek and Nome Creek roads and the DOF has received multiple reports of the fire.

The fire was initially reported on Saturday, June 8 as a one-quarter acre fire in a Limited protection area about 60 miles north of Fairbanks. The fire is burning in the footprint of the 2004 Boundary Fire and no suppression action has been taken thus far.

Two firefighters used four-wheelers to access the fire on Sunday and found a 2-acre fire smoldering in brush and hardwoods. The perimeter of the fire was 10 percent active. The firefighters spent two days searching for any structures in the area that could be threatened by the fire. There is a campground and some mining structures within a few miles of the fire, however, they are not immediately threatened.

Cripple Creek Fire map

A map of the Cripple Creek Fire (#201) as of Wednesday, June 12, 2019. For a downloadable PDF version of the map go to https://akfireinfo.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/cripple-creek-fire-6-12-19.pdf

When checked by firefighters on Wednesday, the fire was still smoldering and had grown to an estimated 25 acres. Fire managers have established management action points in the event the fire continues to grow toward the highway or toward Sourdough Camp, 3 miles to the east, where there are several mining dwellings. The objective is to keep the fire north of the Old Steese Highway and west of Sourdough Camp.

The fire has received precipitation on and off but continues to smolder and grow at a slow rate. Firefighters will continue to monitor the fire.

The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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