Nugget Creek Fire continues to burn; protection set up for public-use cabin

The Alaska Division of Forestry’s Fairbanks Area office resumed command of the Nugget Creek Fire burning in the Chena River State Recreation Area approximately 35 miles east of Fairbanks on Saturday. The Alaska Green Type 2 Incident Management Team had been managing the fire for the past week.

The Nugget Creek Fire as seen during a reconnaissance flight on Friday afternoon with the Chena River in the foreground. Photo by Omar Sutherland/Alaska Division of Forestry

On Friday, fire behavior was again active in areas of black spruce, but was minimally to moderately active in mixed hardwoods and open areas. Fire size grew by an estimated 133 acres and is now estimated at 1,688 acres, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry..

The rappel crew inserted Thursday completed point protection measures on the Nugget Creek public-use cabin, which is approximately 1 mile southwest of the cabin located on the South Fork Chena River. That work included laying hose and installing pumps. The rappellers were extracted after constructing a helispot near the cabin.

The fire, which is burning in a Limited protection area, will now return to air or ground monitoring as needed. The objective is to keep the fire south of the Chena River and Chena Hot Springs Road. Fire scars to the west and east will potentially limit the spread of the fire in those directions should it reach those areas.

Information about the fire will continue to be available on, InciWeb, at and information sign boards along Chena Hot Springs Road at mileposts 23.5, 24 and the turnout at milepost 35.

WEATHER: Hot and dry conditions will persist through Saturday. On Sunday, a front moving east across the area will bring scattered to numerous showers over the fire area, then push across the eastern Interior Sunday night into Monday. Isolated wet thunderstorms are also possible from Fairbanks south on Sunday.

SAFETY: An increase in fire activity for several area fires is contributing to increased smoke in the Fairbanks area. With cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity values overnight, motorists should expect smoke to settle in low-lying areas – particularly in the morning hours. Drivers are cautioned to watch for fire equipment and be prepared for reduced visibility along Chena Hot Springs Road. For information on current road conditions, visit

CLOSURES: Due to the fire activity, Alaska State Parks has closed both the Nugget Creek public-use cabin and the Mastodon Trail leading to it. The Mastodon Trail, trailhead, and cabin are closed until further notice. The trailhead is located at Mile 38.6 Chena Hot Springs Road. The Granite Tors Trail at Mile 39 is also closed. For additional information regarding the trail or cabin, please contact Alaska State Parks at 451-2695.

MORE INFO: For more information about the Nugget Creek Fire, call the Alaska interagency wildfire information office at 907-356-5511 or go to or visit the Division of Forestry’s Facebook page at


Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info

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