Shovel Creek Fire Update

The Shovel Creek Fire (#319) burning northwest of Fairbanks was estimated to be 400 acres as of Saturday morning. The the lightning-caused fire started late Friday afternoon and is located approximately 3 miles north of Murphy Dome.

A photo of smoke from the Shovel Creek Fire taken Friday night, June 21, 2019. Photo by Isaac Solomon/Alaska Division of Forestry
A photo of smoke from the Shovel Creek Fire taken Friday night, June 21, 2019. Photo by Isaac Solomon/Alaska Division of Forestry

Fire activity increased as the day grew warmer and sunnier, with general growth to the southeast. The fire remains about 2 miles south of the Chatanika River.

Water-scooping aircraft were used in the morning and afternoon to address key areas of the fire. The fire was estimated to be about 100 yards from the 7 Mile Trail to the east, while it has reached Shovel Creek to the west. Firefighters are monitoring the area along the west side of Shovel Creek for spot fires across the creek.

Map shows Shovel Creek Fire perimeter in red against a green background. The perimeter is between 7 Mile Trail and Shovel Creek, south of the Chatanika River and north of Murphy Dome.
Map of Shovel Creek Fire at an estimated 400 acres.
Map of fire perimeter against the satellite terrain background.
Satellite imagery with Shovel Creek to the west and 7 Mile Trail to the east. Murphy Dome is in the bottom right of the image.

Lack of water is posing a challenge as the as fire is burning in steeper terrain, with Shovel Creek serving as the only local source of water. Firefighters are setting up pumps and hose along the 7 Mile Trail, using water from Shovel Creek. Water tenders are also being used as a source of water for firefighting efforts.

As of Friday night, 46 personnel were staffing the fire. Additional crews and resources are on order, including an Alaska Type 2 Incident Management Team that will arrive in Fairbanks for a briefing on Sunday afternoon. The team will assume command of the fire on Monday morning.

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 and pilots are advised to check NOTAMS.

For additional map information, visit the statewide mapping tool “Wildland Fire Maps” and look for fire #319. Note: 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 slightly off and may not be a true representation of where fire activity is.

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