Shovel Creek Fire July 8th 2019 Briefing Highlights from the Front Row: Burn Day #3

 If you prefer you can watch this video on  YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG4dwd8Cwec. To watch fireline and aerial footage of the fire subscribe to our YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/2L4Qc7M

Shovel Creek Fire Day #3 of the strategic firing operation and there are now 754 personnel assigned to the fire. Crews were able to hold and mop up the fireline. Crews had the opportunity overnight to conduct the planned firing operations through the Martin neighborhood. If you prefer you can watch this video on  YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG4dwd8Cwec. To watch fireline and aerial footage of the fire subscribe to our YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/2L4Qc7M

Size: 12,053 acres      Containment: 15%       Personnel: 754      Start Date: June 21, 2019       Cause: Lightning

Heavy smoke delayed a firing operation and grounded fixed wing aircraft for most of the day on Sunday. Firefighters were able to reengage through the night, with support from helicopters cooling hot spots, to proactively protect structures in and around the Martin neighborhood. As conditions allow, firefighters will continue a planned firing operation to burnout along the fuel break on Old Murphy Dome Road east to reach the dozer line in the Perfect Perch area. Several crews progressing east will be aided by lower temperatures, which will moderate fire behavior, and four Type 1 heavy helicopters, including two Black Hawks from the Alaska National Guard, that will provide air support to the burnout to help moderate fire activity.

Mop-up efforts continued along the northwest and southwest corners of the fire area while continuing structure protection work on cabins and structures around the Chatanika River. On the western flank, fire activity picked up near the Harldluck Creek Fire scar and patches of unburned fuel is beginning to burn. Fire activity in this area will likely be moderate and will back into the fire scar.

Smoke will continue to be an issue with forecasted “unhealthy” air quality in the days ahead. Fairbanks Memorial Hospital has created a 24-hour smoke respite center in the Chandler Room at 1650 Cowles Street, Fairbanks, AK 99701. The public is also encouraged to minimize smoke exposure by staying indoors with the windows closed. Stay up-to-date on current air quality information by visiting: https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/Alaska

Pacific Northwest Team 2 will host a community meeting at the Ken Kunkle Community Center (2645 Goldstream Road, Fairbanks AK) Tuesday, July 9 at 6:00 p.m. Shovel Creek Fire Incident Commander Rob Allen and guest speakers will provide the current situation, fire behavior update, weather forecast and evacuation information. A question and answer session will follow the meeting which will also be streamed live at: https://www.facebook.com/FNSBEmergencyOperations.

EVACUATION ALERTS:

  • LEVEL 1 (READY) – Chatanika River Corridor, Drouin , Hardluck , Moose Mountain, Coyote Jones ,and Hattie Creek neighborhoods
  • LEVEL 2 (SET)Lincoln Creek, Murphy, McCloud and Vancouver neighborhoods
  • LEVEL 3 (GO)Martin and Perfect Perch neighborhoods


Due to an ongoing firing operation, residents who leave while in Level 3 Evacuation Status will not be allowed to re-enter their properties.
An evacuation shelter has been established at Randy Smith School (1401 Bainbridge Blvd, Fairbanks, AK) to accommodate evacuees. A temporary pet shelter is located at the Tanana Fairgrounds. For more information about evacuation levels issued by the Fairbanks North Star Borough, please visit http://fnsb.us/eo/Pages/EM.aspx, or call (907) 459-1308.

RESOURCES: 8 hotshot crews, 11 type 2 handcrews, 20 engines, 14 dozers, 7 helicopters, and 17 water tenders

WEATHER: Smoke is moderating temperatures over the fire area which are forecasted for the mid-to-high 70s today. Winds are forecasted to be variable and terrain influenced. Overnight temperature will remain above 60 degrees combined with poor overnight recovery. With increased fire behavior on the Shovel Creek and neighboring fires like the Hess and Nugget Creek, smoke will continue to impact the Fairbanks area. For more information on smoke and air quality, visit: https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/Alaska

CLOSURES: The Alaska National Guard is currently staffing three road closures that will remain in place until further notice; (1) Spinach Creek Rd. and Old Murphy Dome Rd. junction – westbound (2) Murphy Dome Rd. and Old Murphy Dome Rd. junction – northbound (3) Murphy Dome Summit and Old Murphy Dome Rd.  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_5441.html

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