Better mapping puts Ninetyeight Creek Fire at 52 acres

The Ninetyeight Creek Fire (#391) burning near Salcha is now estimated at 52 acres due to better mapping. Firefighters were finally able to walk the perimeter of the fire with a handheld GPS unit today, resulting in a decrease in size from the previous estimate of 116 acres.

Despite continued warm temperatures and dry conditions, crews were able to hold the fire in check today with help from aviation resources. Two helicopters have been dipping buckets of water out of the nearby Salcha River.

 Firefighters also made good progress assessing and protecting the numerous residences, recreational cabins and other structures in the area as needed. They assessed about 60-7- structures. There is no immediate threat to structures, but firefighters have been putting hoses and pumps in place should that change.  The Ninetyeight Creek Fire is burning in black spruce northeast of where Ninetyeight Creek flows into the Salcha River. The fire is smoldering and creeping with some torching.

As a precaution, fire managers are asking people to stay out of the area of fire operations from Ninetyeight Creek at approximately 30 mile of the Salcha River upriver to Deep Creek.  In addition, a Temporary Flight Restriction is in effect over the area to ensure the safety of those fighting the fire from the air.

A Type 3 Interagency Incident Management Team will be taking over management of the fire.  The Gila-Las Cruces IMT 3 will be briefed tomorrow and will shadow the team currently managing the fire, before assuming control on Monday.  Additional crews and equipment are on order to support the firefighting effort. Currently, 26 smokejumpers, one Type 2 Initial Attack Crew and a six-person emergency firefighter squad from Minto and Tanana are assigned to the fire.

This lightning-caused fire started on Wednesday. For more information, contact the Alaska Interagency Fire Information Line at (907)356-5511.    

Categories: AK Fire Info

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