The Alaska Division of Forestry in Fairbanks has received multiple reports from the public about fire activity in the Shovel Creek Fire area northwest of Fairbanks in recent days.
The state forestry office wants to remind the public that it remains an active fire and will continue to exhibit minimal fire activity even with all the rain that has fallen in the Fairbanks area over the past two weeks. The fire near Murphy Dome is being monitored by the Fairbanks Area Forestry office.
The public should avoid recreating or traveling through the Shovel Creek Fire area, if possible. Hikers, berry pickers and ATVers need to be aware that there are hazards associated with areas that have recently been burned in a wildfire, namely burned trees – often called snags – and ash pits.
Snags are trees that have the potential to fall at any point. They may be the result of trees with root systems that have been burned or standing trees that have been burned and killed. All it takes is a slight breeze to tip over a dead tree or a fire-weakened tree.
Ash pits may be present in areas that burned extremely hot. White ash on the ground may indicate deep pockets of hot ash where roots and ground vegetation have burned and may continue to burn underground. Stepping in an ash pit can result in serious injury.
Smoke and occasional flames will likely continue to be visible within the fire perimeter for weeks or even months to come. In some areas, minimal fire activity will continue until snow falls.