More than a dozen firefighters continued work Monday and Tuesday suppressing and monitoring a cluster of five small wildfires that were started by lightning over the weekend in the Little Chena Valley north of Chena Hot Springs Road east of Fairbanks.
Most effort was focused on the 2-acre Little Chena Fire, which is located about 3.7 miles north of Chena Hot Springs Road at milepost 23. It was the most active of the five fires that are all within a 5-mile radius.
A 10-person initial attack module that was brought up from the Mat-Su forestry station was helicoptered into the fire on Monday to assist seven firefighters that had been camped out on the fires since Saturday night. Firefighters found three hot spots in the interior of the fire that were extinguished before heavy rain fell on the fire Monday afternoon. Firefighters were back on the line Tuesday morning to grid for any additional hot spots and extinguish any heat found.
Two firefighters hiked to another one of the fires, Little Chena 2 (#240), which is about one-quarter mile from the Little Chena Fire, and found no signs of heat or smoke on Tuesday. That fire, estimated at one-tenth of an acre, was called out.
Firefighters also called the Little Chena 3 Fire (#241) out after finding now signs of heat or smoke on Monday night. That fire, estimated at 1 acre, is approximately 2.7 miles northwest of the Little Chena Fire, just south of Anaconda Creek
Three firefighters were dropped off by helicopter to check on the Little Chena 4 Fire (#242), located approximately 3.5 miles west of the Little Chena Fire. That fire, a 10-foot-by-10-foot burn in heavy canopy, showed little activity on Sunday and the fire received rain on Monday.
Firefighters were also planning to check on the Little Chena 5 Fire (#244) Tuesday. That fire, estimated at 1 acre, is approximately 4.7 miles northwest of the Little Chena Fire and showed no evidence of smoke on Sunday.
The tentative plan is to have all five fires wrapped up in the next 24 hours so firefighters can demobilize on Wednesday and be available for initial attack on new fires.