Firefighters working to contain several wildfires in the Fairbanks Area got a helping hand from Mother Nature on Friday in the form of much-needed, widespread rain that helped subdue fire behavior. While the rain that fell overnight Thursday and much of Friday isn’t enough to be considered a “season-ending event,” it should assist firefighters who are trying to button up suppression efforts on several fires.
There are currently 16 active fires in the Fairbanks Area, five of which are staffed with firefighting personnel. Here’s a rundown of those staffed fires:
Shovel Creek (#319) – 21,309 acres, 55% contained, 37 personnel. Located 20 miles northwest of Fairbanks.
The fire near Murphy Dome northwest of Fairbanks transitioned from a Type 2 to a Type 3 organization on Wednesday and firefighters continue suppression repair activities in coordination with resource advisors. The fire received good rain overnight Thursday and light rain fell on the fire Friday. Interior portions of the fire continue to smolder with occasional unburned pockets flaring up and torching. One piece of uncontrolled line on the northwest perimeter became active on Thursday and fire backed downhill to within 400 yards of five cabins along the Chatanika River. Crews will be putting in sprinklers and pumps around those structures to protect them if the fire continues to advance in that direction.
Nugget Creek (#323) – 18, 970 acres, 0% contained, 6 personnel, Located 35 miles east of Fairbanks.
Minimal fire activity has occurred across the Nugget Creek Fire (#323) the last few days with some visible smoke in the area. Cooler temperatures and rain the last three days have reduced burning activity within the fire area. The fire received rain overnight Thursday and on Friday. Firefighters continue to patrol the fire from the air and ground. A reconnaissance flight of the fire is scheduled today. The lightning-caused fire is burning in the Chena River State Recreation Area east of Fairbanks along Chena Hot Springs Road between mileposts 29-40. The fire is 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.
Kobe (#508) – 896 acres, 96% contained, 39 personnel. Located 62 miles southwest of Fairbanks.
The fire received rain overnight and on Friday. Firefighters remain focused on suppression repair on the dozer line around the fire and completing mop-up operations around private land and structures. Crews continue to pull hose and pumps off the line. Most resources should be released by the end of shift on Friday. The fire transitioned to a Type 4 organization on Saturday. Two crews are timing out today and will be released from the fire. A local Type 2 hand crew will remain on the fire through the weekend.
Teklanika (#651) – 10 acres, 100% contained, 37 personnel. Located 30 miles southwest of Nenana.
Minimal fire activity observed on Thursday morning and no smoke or fire activity was observed later in the day. Personnel gridded for hot spots and found none. The fire is now 100 percent contained. The White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack Crew was flown off the fire on Friday.
No Name Creek (#671) – 8 acres, 70% contained, 9 personnel. Located 50 miles northeast of Fairbanks.
The fire received rain Friday and Saturday. Firefighters made good progress mopping up the fire near milepost 64 of the Steese Highway. The fire is holding at the original 8 acres and is 70 percent contained. Firefighters planned to finish mop-up operations today, grid the fire area for hot spots and begin pulling hose. Demobilization is scheduled for Sunday morning.