Around 5PM Friday, thunderstorm activity around the Little Chena River Fire (#499) created outflow winds which greatly increased fire activity resulting in trees torching and up to 50-foot flame lengths. Crews relocated to a safe area while several tankers and numerous fire bosses dropped retardant and water to reduce heat and fire intensity.
A type 2 IA crew and two dozers arrived in the evening to support the Fairbanks Area Forestry Initial Attack firefighters and the Blue Mountain Type 1 Hotshot crew already in place. The fire activity last evening increased the acreage from around 33 acres to an estimated 100 acres currently.
Crews will continue to create dozer lines today and suppress the fire where they can safely do so. A Red Flag Warning remains in effect, with hot and dry conditions and potential for more thunderstorm activity.
The lightning caused Little Chena River Fire (#499) was reported on Wednesday evening, and is approximately 11 miles northeast from the Fort Knox mine.