Firefighting personnel scheduled to demobilize from Dry Creek Fire Wednesday

The North Star Fire Crew is clearing down trees along the Zitziana River to clear the trees and open the ground up for access to cold trail and to extinguish the Dry Creek Fire on July 11, 2021. Photo by Rob Snyder, BLM AFS

Firefighting personnel are putting the finishing touches on work before demobilizing Wednesday and placing the Dry Creek Fire in monitor status. After Wednesday, there will be no remaining firefighting personnel assigned to the approximately 50,000-acre fire in the field or at Manley Hot Springs. Instead, BLM Alaska Fire Service will keep a close eye on the fire with daily flights and manage it from Fairbanks to ensure none of the numerous sites firefighters have spent weeks working to keep safe are impacted. Equipment was left in place to allow firefighters to quickly mobilize and turn on the pumps for the hoses strung along the fireline constructed to defend the nearest properties on the south side of the Tanana River. The fire has been creeping and smoldering in small patches – mostly near the control lines in the northwest and northeast corners.

Despite the slight increase in fire activity on Monday as it continues to creep in a burned area to the southwest, fire managers don’t expect significant growth thanks to this 2018 burn, the firefighters’ hard work, and the Zitziana River to the east. However, the fire will continue to burn and periodically exhibit smoke throughout the summer until it receives a significate amount of precipitation and cooler weather.

The 20-person BLM Alaska Fire Service North Star Fire Crew returned to Fairbanks on Monday after finishing up work on a direct fire control line between the Pike and No Name sloughs to keep the fire in check on the northwest side. Firefighters also constructed a fire break in a patch of black spruce trees on the northeast corner of the fire near the Zitziana River. The stringer of black spruce was identified as an area where if fire gets established, could cross the river and spread through black spruce to the east of the river. Firefighters kept busy during days of cooler, damper weather to ensure this doesn’t happen. Fire managers suspect the fire area got about a half an inch of rain last week before the warmer weather returned.

With the exception of two small fires that spotted over the Zitziana River to the northeast on July 3, the twisty river with its adjacent hardwood trees and marshy areas has kept the fire to the west. Smokejumpers quickly extinguished those two small spot fires. They also did some work in a riparian area on northeastern edge on Monday to keep the fire east of the Zitziana River. The fire remains to the south of the Tanana River.

The Notice to Airmen in place to keep the airspace safe for the firefighting aircraft will also be lifted on Wednesday.

Start date: June 14Acres: 50,745Personnel assigned: 12Crews: 0Cause: Lightning

Contact BLM AFS Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)356-5510 or for more information.

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info, BLM Alaska Fire Service

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