Shovel Creek Fire 8am July 3rd Update: Crews Continue Indirect Line Preparation Ahead of Strategic Firing Operations

Fire Boss Drops Water on the Shovel Creek Fire
Fire Boss Drops Water on the Shovel Creek Fire. Photo credit: Frank Stelges

The Pacific Northwest 2 Type 1 Incident Management Team assumed command of the Shovel Creek fire this morning following a successful transition with the Alaska Incident Management Team. Thank you to Incident Commander Norm McDonald and his entire team for their expert management and work to date.

Tempered weather conditions kept fire activity very minimal. Although limited fire spread occurred the last two days, a warming and drying forecasted later this week is expected to drastically increase fire behavior. Firefighters continue to bolster our anchor point by mopping up the established containment line from the Hardluck Creek Fire scar to Murphy Dome. Both crews and heavy equipment continued improving the fuel break along Old Murphy Dome Road that extends 12 miles east to the McCloud Subdivision and then 3 miles north to the Chatanika River. This indirect line will serve as the primary containment line to keep the fire from spreading to the south and east toward nearby structures.

Crews have been mopping up the established containment line on the southwest of the fire.  Photo Credit: Jacob Welsh
Crews have been mopping up the established containment line on the southwest of the fire. Photo Credit: Jacob Welsh

Firefighters continue with structure protection along the Chatanika River corridor, and in the Martin, Perfect Perch, Lincoln, Murphy and McCloud subdivisions. Pumps and hose lays throughout these neighborhoods are being tested by crews to verify their operability should the need arise to use them. Currently on the fire there are: 9 Type 1 Hotshot crews, 5 Type 2 hand crews, 18 engines, 10 dozers, 13 water tenders, 5 air boats, and a variety of other equipment to support firefighting efforts.

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EVACUATION ALERTS:

An Evacuation shelter has been established at Randy Smith 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 evacuations 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)

WEATHER: On Tuesday, winds remained calm and temperatures moderate over the fire area. On Wednesday we will begin to see a cold front pass over the area with gusty winds from the south west. As the front passes over the area, temperatures will begin to increase and wind will shift and begin to come from the west with opportunities for strong winds in the drainages. The increase in wind will continue to dry out the fuel.

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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Download today’s update here: 07032019_Update_Shovel Creek_FINAL (1)

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