Despite increased burning on parts of the Rainbow 2 Fire northwest of Delta Junction on Monday, containment lines on the north end of the fire protecting cabins in the Richardson Clearwater community continued to hold.
Hotter, drier weather accompanied by gusty winds on Monday sparked new fire activity in unburned areas on the north and northeast parts of the fire but the main control line put in along the north edge of the fire to protect several cabins along Clear Creek was not compromised, according to fire managers with the Alaska Division of Forestry.
“All the lines on the north are holding and looking good,” reported Delta Area Fire Management Officer Mike Goyette on Tuesday. “The fire is slowing backing to that (control) line and (firefighters) have been able to keep on top of it.”
The lightning-caused Rainbow 2 Fire has been burning since June 29 and is currently estimated at 18,000 acres. It has not shown any significant growth since it made a 3-mile, wind-driven run to the north on July 11. The fire moved within one-quarter mile from the nearest cabins on Clear Creek but remains on the south side of Clear Creek. There are currently about 80 personnel assigned to the fire.
Most of the new growth on Monday was in an unburned section on the north edge of the fire, but well south of the control line. The fire consumed a large pocket of unburned black spruce in the interior of the fire that did not pose a threat to the containment line. There was also some growth to the northeast, south and southwest, away from the Richardson Clearwater community.
Weather conditions permitting, fire managers were planning a reconnaissance and mapping flight on Tuesday to get a better look at the fire. The fire is burning about 15 miles northwest of Delta Junction and the northern-most control line is less than one-half mile from the nearest cabins on Clear Creek.
Due to low visibility from smoke in the area, a Sikorsky helicopter with instrument flight rules was used to make strategic water drops on the fire Monday to keep the fire from threatening the control line closest to the Richardson Clearwater community.
Visibility improved Tuesday afternoon and helicopters were again dropping water on the fire to support crews working to mop up the control line on the north edge of the fire closest to the cabins.