Fires in Alaska

Fires in Alaska
30 June 2004


Alaska Interagency Coordination Center

Fort Wainwright, Alaska

30 June, 15:00 hrs

EvacuationRecommended for Boundary Fire

As the Boundary Fire continues to move in a southwesterlydirection, residents in certain areas west of the fire are advised to evacuate.

  • Along Fairbanks Creek Road, evacuation is now recommended.

  • Residents of Haystack are asked to prepare to evacuate and leave no later thannoon Thursday, July 1. Fire behavior experts predict the fire will likely reachHaystack by noon Thursday, July 1. The strength of the evacuation advisory mayincrease as conditions warrant.

Evacuees are asked to leave anote in an obvious place saying they have left their residence. That way,firefighters will not spend precious time looking for people who have alreadyleft.

An American Red Cross shelterfor evacuees has been established at West Valley High School at 3800 Geist Roadin Fairbanks.  The phone number there is 907 479-4221 x 156.

Arrangements are being made forevacuated animals. For more information, contact Fairbanks North Star BoroughAnimal Control at 459-1451.

For further fire information,please call the Fire Information at 907-356-5511.

Furtherinformation contact:
Fire Information Center
Phone: (907) 356-5511

For fireinformation, visit the Alaska Fire Service Home Page at
or the Alaska Division of Forestry Home Page at

Source: Alaska Fire Service

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — With dry weather and near-record heat in Alaska’sinterior, wildfires burned on more than a half-million acres of remote forestMonday, but no populated areas faced immediate threat.

One fire burned within two miles of Venetie, a community of 200 on the ChandalarRiver about 160 miles northeast of Fairbanks and 150 miles west of the Canadaborder. But a wind shift Sunday led fire managers to decide no evacuations werenecessary.

Traffic remained halted for a third day Monday on the Steese Highway, whichbegins in Fairbanks and runs about 160 miles to Circle, a community of about 100on the Yukon River. The Boundary fire jumped the highway Saturday.

The Forestry Division estimates the Boundary fire at 47,300 acres, and divisionspokeswoman Brett Ricker said some mining camps and hunting cabins may bethreatened. But “unless it’s a primary residence where there are currentlypeople in their homes needing assistance getting out, the structures are notpriority,” she said.

Firefighters are focusing on where the fire jumped the road.

“We’re trying to keep it on the north side of the Steese as much aspossible,” Ricker said. “Other than that, it’s kind of a wait and seesituation.”

Elsewhere in Alaska, about 80 mine workers were evacuated from the Pogo mineafter strong winds brought the lightning-caused Camp Creek fire to within twomiles of the mine. Mine workers and firefighters on Sunday were wetting down thearea and trying to clear it of flammable materials.

At the Pingo fire, the largest of the blazes dubbed the Solstice Complex, flamesburned trees within two miles of Venetie. Fire spokesman Tom Kempton said awarning was issued Saturday in anticipation of west winds and they arrived. Butthe wind changed again Sunday, leaving the community smoke-free, and there wasno evacuation planned. A crew of smokejumpers assisted by a hand crew fromBuckland were running water lines with pumps to the river in case winds shiftedagain.

The Pingo fire had scorched 120,660 acres, while the Winter Trail fire, thesecond largest in the Solstice complex, had burned 102,000 acres, bringing thecombined total to nearly a quarter million acres.

The other 14 fires in the complex are out or in monitoring status, he said.

The Taylor Highway north of Tok was reopened to traffic Monday morning. Traffichad been limited to caravans leaving at midnight. The tiny community of Chickenalso was open for business.

Spokeswoman Kris Eriksen said three fires in the Taylor Complex affecting thehighway are the 49,900-acre Chicken fire, the 12,600-acre Wall Street Fire andthe 79,762-acre Porcupine fire.

Equipment is in place and safe areas along the highway are available in casefire flares up in hot spots, she said. Stopping to take photos in active fireareas will be prohibited and camping banned for the highway’s first 90 miles,she said.

The National Interagency Fire Center, in its daily report Monday, said wildfireswere burning on 527,080 acres in Alaska.

On the Net: National Interagency Fire Center:

Story by Dan Joling
Associated Press Writer

Source: CasperStare Tribune (29 June 2004)

Extreme fire behavior in Alaska continued across the turning of the calendar from June to July 2004. Yellowish-gray smoke hung over much of the state, while fires (locations outlined in red) continued to grow across the landscape. Many of these blazes have been burning since mid-June, triggered by a few days of record-breaking lightning. Hot, dry, and windy conditions since then have pushed fire behavior to extreme levels at many locations. The Boundary Fire, north of Fairbanks, was spreading at a rate of 3 miles an hour on July 1, and at times firefighters reported that flame lengths were as long as 30 feet (Source: Earth Observatory).

Large fires burning in Alaska and the Yukon Territory continue to grow,spreading thick smoke over much of Alaska. The ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this smoky scene on June 30, 2004. Active fire detections aremarked in red. Over 930,000 acres have burned in Alaska since the fires startedin mid-June. (Source: EarthObservatory)

Aqua Satellite
22:50 UTC
30 June 2004

(Image based on data from the MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-GSFC)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien