Steel Creek Fire Draws Speedy Response

A new Fairbanks area wildfire drew a major response last night. Alaska Division of Forestry information officer Sam Harrel reports that ground and air resources were tapped to attack the Steel Creek Fire, near mile 4 of Chena Hot Springs Road.

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“We sent several crews out there and also had the quite the air show going — both were working out there, as were the tankers,” Harrel said. “Both were working out there as the evening came on.”

Harrel says the fire was burning between the Little Chena River and Chena Hot Springs Road, east of Nordale Road, in a critical management area.  It’s estimated to have burned about 45 acres. Harrel credits the heavy response with reining in the blaze.

“We’re fortunate that we’re not real busy yet in this fire season and we had a lot of crews available to get right on this, and the aircraft too,” Harrel said.

Harrel says firefighters are mopping up the fire area today. He attributes the Steel Creek Fire to lightning from thunderstorms that rolled through the area yesterday afternoon. He says no other fire starts are known at this point, but could materialize later today.

The weather forecast is not looking conducive to wildfire in the Fairbanks area. The Middle Tanana Valley can expect periods of rain tonight and Wednesday.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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