Shovel Creek Fire July 17 Briefing Highlights from the Front Row

 If you prefer you can watch this videon  YouTube. To watch fireline and aerial footage of the fire subscribe to our YouTube Channel:

Size: 21,298 acres      Containment: 45%       Personnel: 507     Start Date: June 21, 2019       Cause: Lightning

Yesterday, aerial resources took advantage of the clear skies to complete more detailed mapping over the fire area. With the better mapping of the fire perimeter, the total fire area acreage was reduced by over 2,500 acres. This better reflects the pockets of hardwood stands and tundra that did not burn during the peak of fire activity.

The area is drying out after last week’s rain, though the deeper duff layers are still holding moisture. Fire growth is limited to creeping and smoldering. Air support was busy yesterday hauling over 10,000 pounds of gear and equipment no longer needed along the fire line. This equipment will be refurbished and organized, so it can be ready to be used by other fires.

Two hotshot crews will continue mopping up the western fire line where it bumps up against the 2009 Hardluck Fire scar. Firefighters will keep working on mop-up to secure the fire line along Old Murphy Dome road and north of Perfect Perch neighborhood. Crews will re-engage on the northeastern corner to extinguish hot spots near the fire line along the Chatanika River.

Northern Rockies Team 6 will host a community meeting at the Ken Kunkle Community Center (2645 Goldstream Road, Fairbanks AK) Thursday, July 18 at 6:00 p.m. Shovel Creek Fire Incident Commander Bob Fry and guest speakers will provide the current situation, fire behavior update, weather forecast and fire line repair.  A question and answer session will follow the meeting which will also be streamed live at:

The Fairbanks North Star Borough has maintained the same evacuation levels established on Friday, July 15. 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

For people negatively affected by smoke, 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:

RESOURCES: 2 hotshot crews, 7 Type 2 handcrews, 15 engines, 3 dozers, 6 helicopters, and 6 water tenders

WEATHER:  The forecast is for party cloudy skies allowing for a bit more sunshine on the fire area with temperatures in the 70s.  Beginning Thursday, winds are expected to shift westerly bringing slightly cooler temperatures and increasing humidity. For more information on smoke and air quality, visit:

CLOSURES: A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place in the air space over the fire. Pilots are advised to check NOTAMS at:

Video credit: Northern Rockies Team 6/AFS Alaska Fire Service/DNR Alaska Division of Forestry. 
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Categories: AK Fire Info

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