The Wildfire Log: Alaska’s 11 New Wildfires

UPDATE 1 | Thursday, June 27, 2019

The State of Alaska has definitely seen their share of wildfires and we are just getting starting for the Summer season.  They are currently facing extremely dry conditions and prime for fire conditions.

As of Wednesday, these fires were sparked by various ignitions from lightning to human-caused.

Currently, there are 130 wildfires burning in the State.  We will cover them in groups when they are NEW starts and breaking them down by their names if they become large incidents.

Here are the 11 newest wildfires in the State of Alaska:

#1 | Stuart Creek 2 Fire | Lightning caused. On DOD property. 3 acres.  Fire behavior is smoldering and creeping.  No structures at risk. 0% containment status.  This is the 2nd fire in the area this month.

'People traveling the Chena Hot Springs Road may see smoke coming from a 4-acre fire burning in the Yukon Training Area about 15 miles south of Two Rivers. Until today, the #TowerFire hasn't been very active since it was discovered on June 16. BLM AFS will continue to monitor the fire as it burns in dead and down trees from a 2013 fire. There will be no suppression action because it is burning within the Stuart Creek Impact Area, a military training area that is off-limits to low-flying fire suppression aircraft and firefighters on the ground.This photo was taken the evening of June 20, 2019.'

Stuart Creek Fire 1. | Credit: AK DNR / DOF

Stuart Creek Fire 1:  The first Stuart Creek Fire was burning within the Stuart Creek Impact Area, a military training area that is off-limits to low flying fire suppression aircraft and to ground fire personnel.

Fire History:  July 3, 2013.  Located out of the City of Fairbanks. A 40,000 acre wildfire was sparked by the U.S. Army and leading to multiple evacuations.

#2 | Biderman Bluff Fire | Started by lightning. 15 acres. Located in the Charley Rivers National Preserve. Fire behavior is very active with creeping, backing with single-tree torching with 20′ flame lengths.  Rate of spread is low in the north but has a high potential rate of spread as it is burning Spruce. 0% containment status.

#3 | Ninetyeight Creek Fire | Lightning caused. Located on DOD land and northwest of the Salcha River. 60 acres. 0% containment. 18 total personnel.  Fire behavior is very active with running, torching and a high rate of spread. 26 smoke jumpers along a hotshot crew were deployed and air support made several water drops. There is a an order for additional personnel. Fire officials state that local boat have been contracted to move fire personnel and equipment in and out of the fire perimeter. Structure protection is in effect as the fire was moving towards cabins.

Fire Map of the Ninetyeight Creek Fire | Credit: BLM AK Fire Service

#4 | Beaver Fire | Lightning caused. Located on DOD property. 50 acres. 20% contained.  Active fire behavior with smoldering, creeping and backing with group torching.  Burning in Black Spruce, tundra, grass and brush.

#5 | Foraker Fire | Lightning caused. Located in Denali National Park.  136 acres with 10% containment.   Fire behavior is active with creeping and backing.  On the north flank, it is active with isolated torching.  Southern flank is burning in open Black Spruce terrain.

Fire History:  2009.  Located in Denali National Park. The area suffered a serious wildfire that severely burned the area that it took almost a full year (2010) to grow back habitat in the area. 

#6 | Hemmer Road Fire | Human caused. Located on State land on Hemmer Road.  Fire was reported as burning along the side of the road. 2 USFS engines responded to the fire, where 3 small fires were discovered in grass.  All 3 fires were put out.  FIU investigated but the cause is still undetermined. Unsure if they are still investigating the cause. 0.1 acre.

#7 | Panoramic Fields 2 Fire | State lands. USFS reported a smoke column in a field.  The fire spotted was determined to be a .5 acre and burning in Black Spruce.  Spotting into the next field was observed.  Helicopter 230 and 3 USFS engines responded along with Hooper Bay Power Squad.  Additional air support from Air Attack 35E and FB 208 and 209 along with 230 assisted with fire suppression. FB 230 worked on containment with bucket drops and with the aid of 2 scoopers.  Mutual aid resources also responded from Rural Deltana VFD (tenders), Fort Greely FD (brush truck) and ground resources.  Fire crews were able to gain 100% containment. Fire watch will continue throughout the night into Friday.  Cause is undetermined.

#8 | Whistle Hill Fire | This wildfire was determined to be a human-caused fire that was called into the Fire Marshal’s Office of a burned area on the side of the highway near Whistle Hill Road.  1 USFS Engine responded. There was proof that a 2×2′ sized area had been burned.  Fire was quickly contained, controlled and put out at 1526 hours.

#9 | Twilight Creek Fire | On BLM lands in the Central Yukon Field Office.  Lightning caused. 3 acres. Unstaffed fire. Called in by air recon.

#10 | Glenwood Fire | Private lands. A structure fire spread into wildland interface. Less than one acre was burned after it burned about an 15×15 foot area that was quickly contained and controlled by firefighters at 1336 hours.

#11 | North of 379 Fire | New start near the CHRISTIAN RIVER FIRE that is located on lands managed by the Venetie Indian Affairs and Neets Ai Corporation.  Discovered by air recon flight.  Less than one acre fire. Unknown if fire is staffed or unstaffed.

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – Updated @ 2230 hours PDT