The 54,050-acre Munson Creek Fire burning east of Fairbanks near Chena Hot Springs isn’t the only wildfire around Fairbanks putting up smoke that is impacting Fairbanks and surrounding areas.
The 3,000-acre Salcha River 2 Fire about 65 miles east of Fairbanks and 15 miles southeast of the Munson Creek Fire is also putting up significant smoke due to increased activity caused by the record-setting heat wave that has broiled the Central and Eastern Interior in recent days. Northeast winds have been pushing smoke from the two fires into Fairbanks and the surrounding areas the past two days.
The Salcha River 2 Fire was discovered on July 31 in a Limited protection area along the North Fork Salcha River and has grown from an estimated 150 acres on Monday to an estimated 3,000 acres following a reconnaissance flight Wednesday afternoon. Because it is burning in a Limited protection area with no values threatened, no suppression action has been taken and fire managers are monitoring the fire from the air and by satellite.
“The Salcha River 2 Fire had a lot of activity yesterday,” Fairbanks Area Forestry Fire Management Officer Gordon Amundson reported on Thursday. “It got quite a bit bigger.”