The Rainbow 2 Fire west of Delta Junction flared up on Friday, producing smoke that was visible from Delta Junction and surrounding areas.
The 291-acre wildfire had been quiet for the last few days but the recent hot, dry weather produced an increase in activity on Friday, generating phone calls to the Delta Area Forestry office and the Alaska interagency wildfire information office from people reporting smoke.
A helicopter was dispatched from the Delta forestry office to drop water on the northwest corner of the fire to slow growth to the north. Fire behavior was described as mostly backing with some isolated tree torching. The fire was putting up smoke but it was not a defined column, indicating it was smoldering more than burning. Minimal fire growth and spread was expected as a result of the increased activity.
The lightning-caused fire started on June 29 and is located about 15 miles west of Delta Junction and 2 miles east of Delta Creek. The fire is about 8 miles southwest of the Richardson Clearwater River, where there are multiple recreational cabins.
The fire is burning in black spruce on the north flank and is smoldering in an old fire scar. Tankers and water-scooping aircraft were used to knock the fire down on initial attack and water drops have been used to keep the fire in check since.
The fire is approximately 8 miles north of the Oregon Lakes Fire that burned 34,500 acres earlier this season. Smoke was also reported to be popping from several spots on the Oregon Lakes fires Friday due to the hot, dry weather.