Fire managers from Fairbanks Area Forestry are monitoring a new 100-acre wildfire burning in a Limited protection area east and south of the Steese Highway about 40 miles northeast of Fairbanks. It is roughly 15 miles northwest of the ongoing Munson Creek Fire near Chena Hot Springs.
The Olympia Creek Fire was reported late Tuesday night by a BLM Alaska Fire Service helicopter returning from a mission. The fire is located at the head of Olympia Creek, about 40 miles northeast of Fairbanks and 30 miles east of Chatanika. It is roughly 9 miles directly south of the Steese Highway at Mile 69 and 13 miles east of the highway at Mile 54.
There are two cabins approximately 2-3 miles north of the fire and a cabin about 3-4 miles southeast of the fire. A helicopter from Fairbanks Area Forestry scouted the fire Wednesday morning and reported it was mostly a ground fire creeping, backing and smoldering. It was estimated at approximately 60 acres at that point. The helicopter returned to check on the fire in the afternoon and fire behavior had increased with the warm, dry conditions. It was estimated at approximately 100 acres at that point.
Because it is burning in a Limited protection area with no values imminently threatened, the fire is being allow to burn and function in its natural ecological role. Fairbanks Area Forestry will monitor the fire from the air and set up protection measures around the cabins if necessary.
The cause of the fire is undetermined at this point.