Rain quiets Nugget Creek Fire.

The Nugget Creek Fire (#323) received rain over the fire area throughout the day on Friday, slowing fire progress. The southern point of the fire has crossed South Fork Chena River approximately five miles south of Chena Hot Springs Road, backing slowly into the 2013 Stuart Creek Fire scar. The fire continues to move east and south with some gradual backing to the southwest, away from the Chena Hot Springs Road and Chena River.  Visibility on the ground in the fire area remains poor, so please use caution if you are traveling along the Chena Hot Springs Road.

The fire is burning east of Fairbanks in the Chena River State Recreation Area. It has grown to approximately 15,963 acres, moving toward the southwest and some slow southeastern growth. Recent rain over the fire area has slowed fire growth.

The fire was started by lightning on June 21 and is burning along Chena Hot Springs Road between mileposts 29 and 40. The fire remains on the south side of the road and Chena River, though it has burned up to the river’s edge in many spots. The fire is burning in a limited protection area and has been monitored to this point to ensure that it remains south of the river and road.

Firefighters provided structure protection for the Nugget Creek public-use cabin, which is located on the east bank of the South Fork Chena River. Pumps, hose and sprinklers were set up around it for protection against the fire, and the cabin remains intact as of July 13. There are six firefighters on engines patrolling the fire from Chena Hot Springs Road to monitor fire progress.

CLOSURES: Alaska State Parks has closed both the Nugget Creek public-use cabin and the Mastodon Trail leading to it until further notice.  The trailhead is located at mile 38.6, Chena Hot Springs Road.  The Granite Tors Trailhead and parking at mile 39 is also closed but river access at milepost 39 has been reopened. The river access road at mile 37.7 remains closed. For more information on closures in the state rec area contact Alaska State Parks at 451-2695 or by email atbrooks.ludwig@alaska.gov. For information on current road conditions, visit http://511.alaska.gov.

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