Munson Creek Fire inching toward Chena Hot Springs as firefighters keep an eye on it

Clouds covered the Munson Creek fire most of Monday keeping temperatures low and relative humidity high. Despite cooler conditions, the fire showed a bit of movement.

Incident Commander Kiel Nairns said the western and northern boundaries of the fire inched slowly toward the top of the ridge and the shelter cabin on the Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Springs Trail.

Smoke from a wildfire in the distance.
The Munson Creek Fire burning 4 miles south of Chena Hot Springs puts up smoke in the distance on Sunday, June 27, 2021. Dane Smigelski/Alaska DNR-Division of Forestry

A reconnaissance flight was conducted to document a current map of the fire’s perimeter. The Munson Creek fire is estimated at 329 acres, showing minimal activity with smoldering and slow creeping behavior.

The Yukon Crew assigned to the fire has removed some brush surrounding the shelter cabin in preparation for if or when the fire approaches the cabin.

The fire does not pose any threat to cabins or homes along Chena Hot Springs Road or the Chena Hot Springs at this time. It is being allowed to reduce fuels, create a mosaic of different habitat types and reduce future fire danger similar to a natural fire regime. Fire is an essential ecological process in the Boreal Forest ecosystem in Alaska.

When warmer, drier weather returns the fire could potentially move toward structures to the north and west. Firefighters will consider burning conditions and firefighter safety to determine whether to try to slow the approach of the fire to structures, or to drop back and conduct point protection at the structures.   

The Angel Rocks Trail remains open, but Alaska State Parks has closed the Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Springs Trail for public safety. Signs explaining the closure are posted at the Angel Rocks Trailhead and at Chena Hot Springs.

The Munson Creek fire was initially reported on June 18 as a 2-acre fire approximately 50 miles northeast of Fairbanks. Although very active last week, fire activity has been minimal over the weekend. Activity is expected to remain low with minimal spread until relative humidity drops and temperatures and wind speeds rise.

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info

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