As of Saturday morning, the Shovel Creek Fire burning 3 miles north of Murphy Dome near Fairbanks is now an estimated 400 acres, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry. The lightning-caused fire was reported at 5:20 p.m. Friday.
Initial attack responders encountered extreme fire behavior Friday due to hot, dry conditions, which prompted rapid mobilization of smokejumpers, air tankers and water scooping aircraft. Additional firefighting resources, including four Interagency Hotshot and Type 2 Initial Attack crews, are traveling from the Lower 48 today to be assigned to the fire. An Alaskan Type 2 Incident Management Team will be briefed in Fairbanks tomorrow and take command of the fire on Monday, June 24.
The fire is located approximately 3 miles north of Murphy Dome, east of Shovel Creek, and west of the “Seven Mile” trail that runs from the top of Murphy Dome down to the Chatanika River. At last report, the fire was still approximately 2 miles south of the Chatanika River.
Today, firefighters are working to assess structures in the area to determine possible structure protection needs, and aerial resources will be used to keep the fire east of Shovel Creek, west of “Seven Mile” trail and from expanding further to the north and south.
For residents in the area, please be aware of fire activity, fire personnel and aircraft in the area. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_9_0263.html and pilots are advised to check NOTAMS.
The statewide mapping tool is https://fire.ak.blm.gov/predsvcs/maps.php “Wildland Fire Maps” (look for fire #319). The top right menu icon of four squares allows you to choose a background, while the magnifying glass allows you to zoom in. Please recognize that satellite points that show heat may be off and may not be a true representation of where fire activity is.
Should you have interest in hiring out equipment, process information is available at http://forestry.alaska.gov/equipment.