Nugget Creek Fire perks up with warmer, drier weather; State Parks reopens Granite Tors Trail

A small puff of smoke rises from the Nugget Creek Fire (#323) on Monday, July 22, 2019 along Chena Hot Springs Road. Photo by Liv Stecker/Alaska Division of Forestry

A small puff of smoke rises from the Nugget Creek Fire (#323) on Monday, July 22, 2019 along Chena Hot Springs Road. Photo by Liv Stecker/Alaska Division of Forestry

Fire personnel flew over the Nugget Creek Fire (#323) on Wednesday (July 24) and mapped the fire at 17,294 acres. Spread occurred primarily in the southeast corner of the fire with warmer temperatures over the last few days. Smoke from this fire and others may continue to impact the entire area today.

Alaska State Parks re-opened the Granite Tors Trail and campground at mile 39 of Chena Hot Springs Road on Wednesday and will remain open unless fire conditions change. The Nugget Creek public-use cabin and the Mastadon Trail leading to it at mile 38.6 remain closed, as does the river access road at mile 37.7.

Located in the Chena River State Recreation Area, the Nugget Creek Fire was started by lightning on June 21 and is burning south of Chena Hot Springs Road between mileposts 29 and 40. It is burning in a limited management option area where low density and wide distribution of values to be protected best allows for fire to function in its natural ecological role. The fire has burned up to the edge of the Chena River in several places and continues to creep slowly into the 2013 Stuart Creek Fire scar on the west and the Rock Creek Fire scar from 2000 on the east.

A map showing the perimeter of the Nugget Creek Fire (#323) burning along Chena Hot Springs Road in the Chena River State Recreation Area east of Fairbanks. For a downloadable PDF version of the map go to

A map showing the perimeter of the Nugget Creek Fire (#323) burning along Chena Hot Springs Road in the Chena River State Recreation Area east of Fairbanks. For a downloadable PDF version of the map go to Nugget Creek Fire PDF map July 25.

The fire will continue to be monitored from the air and ground, with resources patrolling areas along the Chena River and working to rehabilitate closed trail systems. Please keep a safe distance from the fire area to allow firefighters to do their jobs safely. Firefighting resources may be working out of sight in the fire area and their safety and productivity hinges on public respect of closures in the fire area. To report unattended smoke or other concerns in the fire area, contact Fairbanks Area Forestry at 907-451-2600.

The fire burned up to the edge of the Nugget Creek public-use cabin, which is located within the fire perimeter on the east bank of the South Fork Chena River. The cabin remains intact with pumps, hose and sprinklers in place for continued structure protection if needed.

For more information on closures in the state rec area contact Alaska State Parks at 451-2695 or by email at brooks.ludwig@alaska.gov. For information on current road conditions, visit http://511.alaska.gov.

 

 

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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