Shovel Creek Fire July 9th 8am Update:A Break in Heavy Smoke Allowed Aerial Resources to Support a Firing Operation;Community Meeting Tonight at 6:00pm

Watch videos and fire footage at the Shovel Creek Fire YouTube channel:

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:

Aerial View of the burn operation from the control line.
Photo Credit: PNW2/Alaska Department of Forestry/BLM Alaska Fire Service

A break in heavy smoke conditions over the fire area allowed aerial resources to support a firing operation that connected the fuel break on the Old Murphy Dome Road with the dozer line running north to the Chatanika River. Firefighters expect to complete burnout on the southeast corner north into Murphy Creek today and will be assisted by aircraft as conditions allow.

Fire activity increased on the west flank, and hotshot crews along with a dozer worked to establish fire lines between the Hardluck Creek Fire scar and containment lines south of the Chatanika River. West winds are forecasted for Tuesday and should moderate fire activity in this area which should assist firefighters in line construction.

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:

July 9 Public Information Map


  • 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

A hotline (907-371-4608) has been established to assist Level 3 evacuees in coordinating questions and concerns.

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, or call (907) 459-1308.

View of the Shovel Creek Fire from Murphy Dome Road.
Photo Courtesy: Isaac Solomon/Alaska Division of Forestry

RESOURCES: 9 hotshot crews, 11 Type 2 handcrews, 20 engines, 13 dozers, 7 helicopters, and 13 water tenders

WEATHER: A high pressure system is moving into the area and will bring warmer temperatures in the mid-80s and a change in wind direction, with winds out of the west. Gusty outflow winds and dry lightning are forecasted for Wednesday and Thursday. Smoke will continue to be an issue in the valley with several fires including Shovel Creek, Hess and Nugget Creek Fires contributing to the poor air quality. For more information on smoke and air quality, visit:

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:

Categories: AK Fire Info


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