Moister, cooler weather calms Caribou Creek Fire near Two Rivers

Higher relative humidities and slightly cooler temperatures helped to moderate fire activity on the Caribou Creek Fire (#255) on Saturday.

More than 150 firefighters are working to contain the 300-acre fire burning north of the community of Two Rivers about 25 miles east of Fairbanks. The fire is located approximately 7 ½ miles north of Chena Hot Springs Road near milepost 18.

Caribou Creek Fire (#255)

This photo taken of the Caribou Creek Fire (#255) at around 2 p.m. Saturday illustrates how the fire is backing down the other side of the ridge it burned over. Photo by John Lyons/Alaska Fire Service

Fire activity increased on the western edge of the fire Friday as a result of the hot, sunny weather and helicopter water drops and retardant drops from air tankers were used to combat the increased fire behavior. Minimal fire growth was reported Friday and the was reported to be 35 percent contained at the end of shift on Friday, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry.

On Saturday, fire behavior mellowed with more moisture in the air and slightly cooler temperatures. The fire received light precipitation in the early morning.

There are 159 personnel working on the fire, including five crews. Firefighters continued to construct containment line around the west side of the fire on Saturday with the help of helicopter water drops. Firefighters are working in steep terrain and the fire is burning deep into the duff, burning the root systems of trees that then fall over and have to be cut up to clear the line. Those trees also hold considerable heat that must be extinguished before firefighters can progress containment lines.

The main area firefighters are focusing their efforts on are near the top of a ridge where the fire has crossed over and is backing down the other side. Firefighters are working on both sides of the ridge to try and connect the containment line so it surrounds the fire. One issue firefighters are contending with is that the fire has begun to burn through retardant lines that were put down a few days ago to slow its spread.

The Yukon Flats Type 2 emergency firefighting crew was flown out to the fire on Friday to and two more crews have been ordered for the fire, one of which should arrive Sunday.

The fire is being managed by a Type 3 incident management team and trigger points have been established to take action if the fire reaches those points.

There are six cabins between 1 and 3 miles south of the fire and firefighters have set up a pump, hose and sprinklers around the cabin that is closest to the fire in the event the fire gets closer and they have to protect the structure.

If fire activity increases to the point where aerial and ground forces can no longer contain it, firefighters will fall back to protect structures and try to contain the fire in a creek drainage to the west while also preventing it from moving south.

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.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: 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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