Cool, wet weather helps temper wildfire near Chena Hot Springs Resort

Thick smoke hangs over a hot springs resort.
The Munson Creek Fire slowly moved toward Chena Hot Springs Resort Monday. (Alaska Division of Forestry)

Cool, wet weather helped temper a wildfire burning near Chena Hot Springs Resort, a fire official said Wednesday.

Alaska Division of Forestry spokesperson Tim Mowry said the Munson Creek Fire was “still pretty mellow.” Parts of the fire had come within 100 yards of the resort.

Firefighters were attacking areas of the fire that came down a ridge and were closest to the resort, located about 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks.

Division of Forestry video.

Helicopters were dropping buckets of water, and crews were able to attack the fire’s leading edges in efforts to keep it in check, Mowry said.

He said firefighters planned to continue that effort Wednesday.

A steady rain of at least an hour, coupled with intermittent showers, helped firefighters Tuesday. The rain helped increase the relative humidity. “The fire rally sort of clams down” in those conditions, Mowry said.

The fire was started by lightning on June 18. Since then, it has grown to just over 40 square miles.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough had issued an evacuation order for the area, but more than a dozen people have stayed.

RELATED: As Munson Creek wildfire grows, Chena Hot Springs stays open

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