UPDATE AS OF 8:15 p.m.
The Shovel Creek Fire burning 3 miles north of Murphy Dome northeast of Fairbanks has grown to an estimated 200 acres and is still 100 percent active. Air tankers have dropped four loads of retardant to try and box the fire in and it seems to be holding against the fire. Winds out of the north are blowing the fire down into the valley. There is another small 1-2 acre fire that smokejumpers are working to extinguish with help from helicopter water drops. A hotshot crew is also enroute to the fire.
A Temporary Flight Restriction has been put in place over the fire to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft.
ORIGINAL INFORMATION AS OF 7 p.m. – The Alaska Division of Forestry is responding to a rapidly growing wildfire approximately 3 miles north of Murphy Dome and 25 miles northwest of Fairbanks.
The Shovel Creek Fire (#319) was reported at 5:20 p.m. and is burning in continuous black spruce about 2 ½ miles south of the Chatanika River, just east of Shovel Creek. The fire is exhibiting intense fire behavior and is moving rapidly toward structures along the river.
Eight smokejumpers are being deployed on the fire and an air tanker is dropping retardant in an attempt to slow the spread of the fire. Another air tanker has been ordered to respond from Palmer. Helicopters and water-scooping aircraft have also been ordered for the fire, along with two bulldozers.
An Alaskan Type 2 incident management team has already been ordered to mobilize to the fast-moving fire.
This is a developing incident and more information will be provided as it is available.
For more information, contact the Alaska Interagency information office at (907) 356-5511.