Rugged terrain ahead as firefighters build handline on Haystack Fire

Cool, humid conditions continue to assist firefighters constructing and improving containment line around the Haystack Fire (#196). Dozers are making slow progress on the north end, working from east to west. Containment remains at 30%, with line in place along the western flank of the fire perimeter. Crews are continuing to lay hose lines and install pumps to mop-up hot spots on the perimeter to increase the width of the containment line.

Moderated fire activity allowed a better survey of the fire area providing a revised estimate of acreage to be 927. Published maps today, show a more accurate representation of the fire area.

The wind-driven Haystack Fire turned back on itself creating a horseshoe shape around rugged, steep terrain not accessible to dozers. Firefighters will build a saw line directly along the fire’s edge. This is often referred to as working with one foot in the black and one foot in the green. Click here for a larger pdf type file.

The east side of the fire presently poses the greatest challenges. There are eight to ten miles of hand line to be constructed in steep and rugged terrain. While the eight dozers operating on the Haystack Fire have been invaluable resources to help contain the other flanks, they cannot operate in the terrain on the east side. Two Type 1 crews are assigned, as well as three Type 2 initial attack crews and a Type 2 hand crew, supported by two helicopters. They will continue to cut and plumb a saw line along the fire’s edge as they work towards containment.

Thunderstorms are again forecast for today. Although the moisture is expected to moderate fire behavior and decrease ignition potential, the accompanying lightning strikes can smolder in the forest floor for days. For example, the thunderstorm that ignited the Haystack Fire occurred on June 7, but the fire was not able to be detected by aerial spotters until June 14. It took a week for hot, dry weather conditions to form and sufficiently dry combustible fuels that kindled the flames. A similar weather pattern appears to be developing this week, with cooler temperatures, moisture, and lightning at the beginning of the week and warmer, dry weather by the end of the week.

The Moose Creek Cabin in the White Mountains National Recreation Area is closed due to proximity to the fire. The Bureau of Land Management will continue to monitor the fire status and resume reservations when firefighting efforts in the area are reduced.

Fairbanks North Star Borough Emergency Operations encourages residents to sign up for wildland fire information alerts issued by the borough by texting “FNSB2021Wildfire” to 226-787.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire and some of the surrounding area to provide a safe operating environment for firefighting aircraft. Go to for more information.

Fire Size: 927 acres  Containment: 30%  Total Personnel: 204

Start Date: 06/14/2021 Location: 18 miles N of Fairbanks, AK  Cause: Lightning

Public Information: (907) 931- 8113      Email:

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info

Tags: ,

%d bloggers like this: