Here are two pictures showing fire behavior before and after water and retardant drops on the 20-acre Straight Creek Fire that was reported just after 3 p.m. Sunday, June 20, 2021 approximately 2 miles north of the Parks Highway near Mile 325.
7 P.M. UPDATE
Water and retardant drops from aircraft have helped tame a wildfire approximately 2 miles north of the Parks Highway near Mile 325 Parks Highway while ground firefighters mobilize.
The Straight Creek Fire behind Skinny Dick’s bar was estimated at 20 acres as of 6 p.m. The fire was reported a 5-acre fire at 3:30 p.m. Water and retardant drops reduced fire behavior from a rank 3-4 to a rank 1 (on a scale of 1-6). The fire is boxed in by a creek drainage on one side and retardant lines around the remainder of the fire.
Twelve smokejumpers from the BLM Alaska Fire Service are on the ground engaging the fire while the Yukon Type 2 intial attack crew is being flown to the fire from the Haystack Fire north of Fairbanks. There is some isolated torching of trees inside the perimeter but they within the retardant lines laid down by air tankers. At last report, the fire had not crossed the creek drainage.
The Alaska Division of Forestry is responding to a new wildfire approximately 2 miles north of the Parks Highway near Mile 325 Parks Highway south of Ester Dome.
The Straight Creek Fire (#244) is not accessible by road and a team of 12 smokejumpers has been deployed on the fire. The Yukon Type 2 initial attack a crew is being flown in from the Haystack Fire north of Fairbanks to initial attack the fire. The fire is located about 2 miles north of Skinny Dick’s Halfway Inn bar and 2 ½ miles south of the Alaska Railroad. The fire was reported at 3:11 p.m. by motorists who could see smoke from the Parks Highway.
A 3:30 p.m. size up of the fire reported it to be 5 acres with rank 3-4 fire behavior (on a scale of 1-6) with 4- to 5-foot flame lengths. There is a large burn scar between the fire and the highway. No homes or other values were immediately threatened by the fire.
An air tanker made a retardant drop around a portion of the fire at 4:15 p.m. and is reloading to make another droip. A helicopter is currently dropping water on the fire. A team of eight smokejumpers was deployed on the fire and hit the ground at about 4:30 p.m. The Yukon Crew is being helicoptered to the fire. State forestry is also responding with four-wheelers to help firefighters access the fire.
A smoke column from the fire is visible from the Parks Highway and state forestry and the FAA control tower at Fairbanks International Airport have received multiple calls from motorists and pilots reporting the fire.