Firefighters on the Ninetyeight Creek Fire (#391) continue to make good progress laying hose around the perimeter of the fire burning near Salcha. Significantly cooler, wetter weather forecasted for Sunday could help them hold the fire in check. The fire remains at 52 acres.
Helicopters have been scooping buckets of water from the Salcha River and dropping it mainly on the southern and eastern flanks of the fire. Firefighters have completed assessment and protection of 60-70 structures along the Salcha River. The nearest cabin is 1-1/2 miles from the fire and there is no immediate threat to the homes and cabins in the area.
As a safety precaution, fire managers are asking people to avoid the area of fire operations from approximately Mile 30 of the Salcha River upriver to Deep Creek. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in effect over the area to ensure the safety of those fighting the fire from the air.
There are 54 firefighters on the Ninetyeight Creek Fire. Additional crews and equipment are on order to support the firefighting effort. The Gila-Las Cruces Type 3 Interagency Incident Management Team will be taking over management of the fire on Monday.
The Ninetyeight Creek fire was started by lightning on Wednesday about 18 miles northeast of Harding Lake.
For more information, contact the Alaska Interagency Fire Information Line at (907)356-5511.