Shovel Creek Fire 8am Update: Crews Continued to Hold and Strengthen Fire Lines With Day and Night Shifts Patrolling

Stand at fire camp as if you were there watching the fire personnel leave the operational briefing and prepare for their 16 hour shifts patrolling, mopping up and securing the firelines. Watch videos and fire footage at the Shovel Creek Fire YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/TXqCAvK9evw

Current Statistics:

Size: 23,734 acres      Containment: 15%       Personnel: 821      Start Date: June 21, 2019       Cause: Lightning

Keeping eyes on the green following the strategic burning operation north of Perfect Perch. 
Photo Credit: Kale Casey/PNW2/DNR Alaska Division of Forestry
Elk Mountain crew member Josh Tracy keeping eyes on the green following the strategic burning operation north of Perfect Perch.
Photo Credit: Kale Casey/PNW2/DNR Alaska Division of Forestry

After several days of successful firing operations, crews continued to hold and strengthen fire lines across the burn area yesterday. Firefighters continued patrolling along Old Murphy Dome road and securing the line to Murphy Dome. Yesterday’s burnout operation along the ridge north of Perfect Perch to the Chatanika River continues to give depth and strength to fire lines as the fire backs downs to west of the ridge.

Crews will keep working around the perimeter of the fire as it progresses west from McCloud Creek on the Chatanika River. Increased fire activity along the western portion of the fire has crews building line from the north and dozers working from the south to secure the fire line. Structure protection crews are in place in the area around the cabins, homes and structures along the Chatanika River as well as continued support in communities south of the fire. Aerial resources will continue to be available, as conditions allow, to cool hotspots near fire lines.

Shovel Creek Fire Map- July 11

Smoke will continue to be an issue in the valley through Friday morning with several fires including Shovel Creek, Hess and Nugget Creek Fires contributing to the poor air quality. 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

Interested in donating to the firefighters? Alaska’s fire management agencies greatly appreciate the generosity of Alaskans and your concern for firefighters. The crews fighting Alaska’s wildfires are well equipped and cared for. We are not seeking donations of food, socks, toiletries and other items for firefighters. Alternatively, citizens who want to help could consider donating to your local Red Cross chapter or to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation at www.wffoundation.org. Thanks for your kind consideration!

A view from Murphy dome. The mosaic burn pattern is seen on the landscape.
Photo Credit: Nick Cronquist/PNW2

The Fairbanks North Star Borough has maintained the evacuation levels established yesterday.

EVACUATION ALERTS:

  • LEVEL 1 (READY) – Chatanika River corridor, Drouin, Hardluck, Moose Mountain, Coyote Jones, Hattie Creek, Lincoln Creek, Murphy and Vancouver neighborhoods
  • LEVEL 2 (SET) – McCloud, Martin and Perfect Perch neighborhoods
  • LEVEL 3 (GO) – (None)

A reentry hotline (907-371-4608) has been established to assist evacuees in coordinating questions and concerns. 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: 10 hotshot crews, 12 Type 2 handcrews, 20 engines, 9 dozers, 7 helicopters, and 23 water tenders

WEATHER: The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for dry thunderstorms through Friday evening. With these thunderstorms, winds could reach gusts of up to 30 mph. For more information on smoke and air quality, visit: https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/Alaska

CLOSURES: Access to the Martin and Perfect Perch neighborhoods is now open to residents. The Alaska National Guard will stay at the road access points to the monitor the area as residents return home. 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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