Shovel Creek Fire July 23 8am Update: Active Fire Interior to Perimeter as Repair and Mop-up Progresses

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

Current Statistics:

Size: 21,309 acres      Containment: 54%       Personnel: 384    Start Date: June 21, 2019       Cause: Lightning

Shovel Creek Fire Slowly Backing Down Interior of the Fire Perimeter

Improvements to the fire area progressed yesterday as Northern Rockies Incident Management Team crews continued rehab and repair work and clean-up operations.  Fire crews used excavators to return dozer line back to trails on the west side of the fire area and completed the mechanical rehab process on dozer line along the south perimeter. 

Air Operations removed 23,000 pounds of hose, pumps, and other equipment from the fire area.  Manned and unmanned infrared flights were conducted to check remaining hot spots in the interior and along the northern fire perimeter.  Two reconnaissance flights were also flown to identify pockets of fire still active on the north line, primarily in area north of Murphy Creek.

Today crews will continue to monitor the fire area and mop up hotspots.  Although active fire remains, no significant weather is present to push the flames.  According to Incident Fire Behavior Analyst Eric Trimble “at this point the fire is a slow backing surface fire”.  Favorable weather with cooling temperatures will aid in knocking heat back and weekend rain is expected to further slow the progress of the fire. 

The Fairbanks North Star Borough has maintained the same evacuation levels established on Friday, July 12. 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

Smoke in the Fairbanks area has improved over the past week. The respite room at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital has closed but will be ready to re-open if air quality worsens. Stay up-to-date on current air quality information by visiting: https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/Alaska

Shovel Creek Fire Map July 23

RESOURCES: 6 Type 2 hand crews, 1 dozer, 4 helicopters, and 5 water tenders

WEATHER: Temperatures will be warmer today with a high of 83 degrees and mostly clear skies. High pressure and light winds will continue throughout the day. For more information on smoke and air quality, visit: https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/Alaska

CLOSURES: A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place for 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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