24,000 Acre Fire Southeast Of Fairbanks Across River From Harding Lake & Richardson Highway

  Water scoopers, more firefighters mobilizing to protect cabins from McDonald Fire southeast of Fairbanks  BY  BLM ALASKA FIRE SERVICE   on...


Water scoopers, more firefighters mobilizing to protect cabins from McDonald Fire southeast of Fairbanks 

(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – BLM Alaska Fire Service smokejumpers and water scoopers mobilized Monday afternoon to protect a group of cabins threatened as the McDonald Fire (#119) continues to grow despite moderated conditions. The fire was estimated at about 24,000 acres Monday afternoon as it continues to burn through black spruce in the Tanana Flats southeast of Fairbanks. Smoke is impacting visibility in the area hindering smokejumper response. Instead, the eight smokejumpers landed on a sand bar at the confluence of the Salcha and Tanana rivers and are getting shuttled in via a boat. Water scoopers were busy dropping water to cool the fire’s edge closest to the cabins south of the training range along 5 Mile Creek, or Clear Creek as others may know it. 

Additional firefighters, including the BLM AFS Midnight Sun Hotshots and the Alaska Division of Forestry & Fire Protection’s White Mountain Crew, are being mobilized to protect the 20 cabins along 5 Mile Creek

Despite the cooler temperatures following red flag conditions over the weekend, the fire continues to be very active – this time on the south and northern sides as it crossed the boundary of the training range into state lands. A westerly wind is also carrying smoke and sometimes ash that has impacted the communities along the Richardson Highway. Click here for air quality information including some steps protect people from wildfire smoke.

The lightning-caused fire has reached the edge of the braided Tanana River around mile post 315 Richardson Highway, according to a firefighter who flew over the area earlier today.

There’s a 70% chance of rain tonight and more moisture predicted in the upcoming days with hopes it will be enough to moderate the fire.

People recreating or living in the Harding Lake area will see an increase in activity from a staging area at a campground. That includes a point to shuttle firefighters and equipment closer to the fire.



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