Shovel Creek Fire July 12th 8am Update:Mop-up Operations Begin Along the South and East Areas of the Fire

Watch videos and fire footage at the Shovel Creek Fire YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2L4Qc7M

Current Statistics:

Size: 23,734 acres  Containment: 15%   Personnel: 739   Start Date: June 21, 2019   Cause: Lightning

Smoke impacts the fire crews working on Murphy Dome Road. 
Photo Credit:Kale Casey/PNW2/DNR Alaska Division of Forestry
Smoke impacts the fire crews working on Murphy Dome Road.
Photo Credit:Kale Casey/PNW2/DNR Alaska Division of Forestry

Firefighters continued to hold and secure the southern and eastern perimeter of the fire line along Old Murphy Dome road and the ridge line north of Perfect Perch to the Chatanika River. Hotshot crews have been engaged securing the active fire line on the northeast corner of the fire near the Chatanika River and Murphy Creek. Along the Chatanika River, structure protection crews have hose lays, sprinklers and other equipment in place around the cabins, homes and structures as work to secure the northern edge continues.

Today, crews will begin mop-up operations along the fire lines on the south and east areas of the fire where burnout operations occurred. During mop-up operations, crews will be extinguishing remaining hot spots and smoldering embers along the fire line to secure the perimeter of the fire.  On the western edge of the fire, crews and dozers will keep building fire line to contain the area near the 2009 Hardluck Fire scar. Aerial resources will continue to be available, as smoke conditions allow, to cool hotspots near fire lines.

Shovel Creek Fire Map-July 12

Wednesday and Thursday night’s thunderstorms generated abundant lightning in the area and also created gusty wind patterns increasing fire behavior in some parts of the fire. Last night’s storm system dropped about 0.7 inch of rain on parts of the fire area helping moderate fire behavior through the night. New fires in the Fairbanks area have not been reported at this time, but it can take days, even weeks, for lightning starts to grow into visible size. Crews are prepared for initial attack response if fires do begin to appear.

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. 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

Engines and Water Tenders on Old Murphy Dome Road supporting the fire crews out on the line by providing water.
Photo Credit:Kale Casey/PNW2/DNR Alaska Division of Forestry

The Fairbanks North Star Borough has maintained the evacuation levels.

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)

RESOURCES: 7 hotshot crews, 11 Type 2 handcrews, 20 engines, 9 dozers, 7 helicopters, and 21 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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