Shovel Creek Fire: July 2nd 7am Update With Image Gallery of Firefighters & Dozer Preparing Indirect Firelines

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Crane Valley Interagency Hotshot Crew is doing chainsaw work, thinning and limbing around structures. Photo credit: Mike Johnson/Alaska Incident Management Team

This will be the last update from the Alaska Incident Management Team, as the fire will be transitioned to the Type 1 Pacific Northwest 2 Incident Management Team (Rob Allen Incident Commander) on Wednesday morning.

The Shovel Creek Fire is now 10,008 acres and eight percent contained. Due to a decrease in smoke over the fire area, aircraft was able to provide more accurate mapping –which resulted in a slight decrease in acreage.

July 2nd 7:00am Fire Map for the Shovel Creek Fire

July 2nd 7:00am Fire Map for the Shovel Creek Fire

On Monday, firefighters improved containment lines between the Hardluck Fire scar and Murphy Dome. East of Murphy Dome, resources improved and prepared the primary containment line with dozers and hose lays. The primary containment line extends east eight miles to the Perfect Perch subdivision, and then turns north for four miles to the McCloud subdivision. The majority of this portion of the primary containment line consists of existing roads and established fuel breaks, which will only need minimal improvements. North of the McCloud subdivision, dozers and hotshot crews began establishing an indirect line to connect the primary containment line into the Chatanika River. Preparations began for a firing operation along alternate containment lines, should the fuel and weather conditions allow.

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With the containment line established as an anchor point, crews and equipment will continue to improve the primary containment line on Tuesday in order to hold the fire at that line and prevent fire spread to residential areas to the east and south. Dozers and hotshot crews will continue work the section of indirect line north of McCloud subdivision to the Chatanika River. Additional firefighters and equipment are in place –with more arriving -to assist in building and strengthening these control features. Crews will continue with structure protection along the Chatanika River corridor, and in the Martin, Perfect Perch, Lincoln, Murphy, and McCloud neighborhoods. In addition to reassessing existing structure protection, crews will be testing pumps and hose already in place to verify it is ready should it be needed. Structure inventory and assessments will expand to include properties further east of the fire area.

July 2nd 7:00am Vicinity Fire Map for the Shovel Creek FireEVACUATION ALERTS:

An Evacuation shelter has been established at Randy Smith Middle School (1401 Bainbridge Blvd, Fairbanks, AK) to accommodate displaced residents. Additionally, a temporary pet shelter is located at the Tanana Fairgrounds. For additional information and resources on evacuation from the Fairbanks North Star Borough, please visit http://fnsb.us/eo/Pages/EM.aspx, or call (907) 459-1308.

52 Structures in LEVEL 3 (GO) Martin (42) and Perfect Perch (10) subdivisions

93 Structures in LEVEL 2 (SET) Lincoln Creek (64), McCloud (10), and Murphy (19) subdivisions

Chatanika River corridor remains in LEVEL 1 (READY)

Residents that have been evacuated from the Shovel Creek Fire can call the fire information line (907-347-6801) for information about opportunities for limited re-entry, as conditions allow.

WEATHER: On Monday, cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity values contributed to decreased fire behavior. Rainfall amounts of about 0.3” helped to mitigate the effects of wind gusts up to 25 mph across the fire area. On Tuesday, winds are expected to decrease, temperatures will begin to rise, and relative humidity values will decrease as high pressure starts to build over the fire area. The warming and drying trend will continue through the weekend.

SAFETY: Residents in the area are asked to avoid the Murphy Dome area due to the firefighting activity and the potential for interfering with fire personnel. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place in the air space over the fire. Pilots are advised to check NOTAMS at https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_9_0263.html.

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