Numerous firefighters, aircraft work on 500-acre fire north of Two Rivers

The Caribou Creek Fire (#255) is burning along a valley about 7-1/2 miles north of Chena Hot Springs Road. The Little Chena River is in the background. Photo by Division of Forestry

The Caribou Creek Fire (#255) is burning along a valley about 7-1/2 miles north of Chena Hot Springs Road. The Little Chena River is in the background. Photo by Division of Forestry

Numerous firefighters and aircraft continue to work late Sunday evening after winds subsided and calmed a fire burning north of Two Rivers. Erratic wind pushed the Caribou Creek Fire (#255) through continuous black spruce until it was an estimated 500 acres by 11 p.m. Sunday. The fire is burning on the north side of the the Caribou Creek valley running east off the Little Chena River about 7-1/2 miles north of mile 18 Chena Hot Springs Road. There is a cabin site nearby, but the fire has so far been moving away from its location. Numerous callers reported the fire to Fairbanks Area Forestry at 5:45 p.m.

Photo of the BLM Alaska Fire Service Chena Interagency Hotshot Crew as they wait to be shuttled from the staging area at the Two Rivers Elementary School to the Caribou Creek Fire (#255) on June 16, 2019. Photo by Tim Mowry, DOF

The BLM Alaska Fire Service Chena Interagency Hotshot Crew waits to be shuttled from the staging area at the Two Rivers Elementary School to the Caribou Creek Fire (#255) on June 16, 2019. Photo by Tim Mowry, DOF

A Division of Forestry Fairbanks Area helitack crew with five firefighters was quickly dispatched to work on the fire. Two BLM Alaska Fire Service water-scooping Fire Boss aircraft were also launched to respond. Soon, eight BLM AFS smokejumpers and a Division of Forestry air tanker loaded with retardant joined the suppression efforts. Four helicopters dropped buckets of water on the fire until the BLM AFS Chena Interagency Hotshots arrived at the staging area at the Two Rivers Elementary School to be shuttled to join the efforts on the ground. Eight more smokejumpers and the 20-person  Fairbanks #2 Type 2  Emergency Firefighter (EFF) Crew were added later. All the while, an additional airplane with firefighting personnel coordinating the suppression efforts circled above the fire.

Another Fairbanks Type 2 EFF Crew is mobilizing to respond later tonight with the Type 2 Initial Attack Tanana Chief Crew traveling from Tok tomorrow.

Work will continue tomorrow to contain and control the fire that is burning in a full protection management option area on State of Alaska land.

A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place in the area for up to 6,000 feet elevation to provide a safe airspace for firefighting aircraft working on the fire.

For more information, contact the Alaska Interagency Fire Information Office at (907)356-5511.

Map of Caribou Creek Fire (#255) burning north of Two Rivers on June 16, 2019.
Map of Caribou Creek Fire (#255) burning north of Two Rivers on June 16, 2019. Click on 20190616_255_CarribouCreek for PDF version of map.


Categories: Active Wildland Fire, Alaska DNR - Division of Forestry (DOF)

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