Fire behavior on the 6,937-acre Nugget Creek Fire (#323) burning in the Chena River State Recreation Area east of Fairbanks increased yesterday afternoon with hotter, drier weather. The biggest increase was on the eastern portion closest to Chena Hot Springs Road, as northeast winds pushed the fire to the south/southwest.
By evening there were three well established smoke columns billowing up from the fire. A helicopter was launched from Fairbanks Area Forestry so firefighters could activate pumps and sprinklers that had been set up around the Nugget Creek public-use cabin, as the fire advanced to within one-quarter mile of the cabin on the south edge of the fire. The fire has now reached the northeast edge of the 2013 Stuart Creek Fire burn scar.
The lightning-caused fire is located approximately 35 miles east of Fairbanks along the south side of Chena Hot Springs Road between mileposts 32 and 40. The fire, which is in a limited protection area, is being monitored by firefighters along the road and from the air. Fire managers’ primary objective is to keep the fire south of both the Chena River and Chena Hot Springs Road.
Alaska State Parks has closed both the cabin and the Mastodon Trail leading to it. The Mastodon Trail, trailhead, and cabin, along with the local campground are closed until further notice. The trailhead is located at mile 38.6 Chena Hot Springs Road. The Granite Tors Trail at mile 39, Chena Hot Springs Road, is also closed. For additional information regarding the trail or cabin, please contact Alaska State Parks at 451-2695
Drivers are cautioned to watch for fire equipment and to be prepared for reduced visibility along Chena Hot Springs Road. For information on current road conditions, visit http://511.alaska.gov.
Categories: AK Fire Info