Live Update: Last “Breaking it Down” – Shovel Creek Fire July 14, 2019 Update

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Update – Sunday, July 14th @ 8:00 am

Rob Allen, Incident Commander

Size:23,948 acres      Containment: 40%     Personnel: 546     Start Date:June 21, 2019       Cause: Lightning

Final Live Update: ”Breaking it Down” Shovel Creek Fire Saturday, July 14th 2019  Last Break

Crews had another successful day of progress securing fire line with mop-up operations near Murphy Dome and along the northwestern edge of the fire. Firefighters were also able to secure the northeast corner of the fire area near Chatanika River and Murphy Creek. The continued dampness from recent rain and high humidity kept fire behavior low and mostly smoldering throughout much of the fire area. Smoke and fog lifted in the afternoon, allowing aircraft to get a valuable aerial view of the fire. During this flight, fire managers were able to better identify areas with smoldering hot spots.

Today, crews, including hotshots, will focus efforts on mop-up operations along Old Murphy Dome road in the southeast portion of the fire and remaining western edge. Those areas with containment line will continue to be patrolled by firefighters. With fire lines being secured, firefighters will continue to remove structure protection equipment from the neighborhoods to the south and east of Old Murphy Dome road. In areas north of the Chatanika River, structure protection equipment will remain on site.

Yesterday, it was reported that an outbuilding/minor structure was destroyed. Following a reconnaissance flight fire managers determined that no structures have been destroyed.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough has maintained the same evacuation levels established on Friday. The neighborhoods of the Chatanika River corridor, Drouin, Hardluck, Moose Mountain, Coyote Jones, Hattie Creek, Lincoln Creek, Murphy, and Vancouver neighborhoods are no longer in an evacuation zone.

Evacuation levels as of 1:00pm on July 12, 2019:

  • LEVEL 1 (READY) – McCloud, Martin and Perfect Perch neighborhoods

The recent rain has cleared some of the smoke. With fire activity to the north and east of Fairbanks, air quality is still forecasted to be moderate, particularly for sensitive populations. 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

RESOURCES: 4 hotshot crews, 6 Type 2 handcrews, 16 engines, 5 dozers, 7 helicopters, and 9 water tenders

WEATHER:  The forecast calls for similar conditions as yesterday with high humidity, light winds and temperatures in the 70s. A mixture of smoke and fog is expected to hang in the valley around the fire area this morning.  For more information on smoke and air quality, visit: https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/Alaska

CLOSURES: 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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