FAIRBANKS — Fire crews are battling a 500-acre blaze on a Tanana River island, hoping to prevent it from spreading to the nearby community of Dot Lake or threatening the Alaska Highway.
The fire, located three miles northwest of Dot Lake, was started by lightning on Sunday. The Division of Forestry has assigned 94 personnel to the fire, with water scooping aircraft, fire-retardant tankers and helicopters with buckets. Crews are using airboats to access the off-road fire, and additional resources are on the way.
Fire managers are working to keep the blaze from crossing the Tanana Slough, which would allow it to threaten Dot Lake, the Alaska Highway and various Native allotments and private properties.
Alaska Highway travelers between Tok and Delta are being asked to avoid stopping on the road shoulder to view fire activity, and instead use parking areas or pullouts.
Most of the Interior continues to be under Red Flag warnings for strong winds or very low humidity, indicating conditions exist for large and dangerous wildland fires.
Elsewhere, the Chisana River 2 fire, burning in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve and the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, grew by 118 acres on Monday to a total of 8,668 acres. The fire is burning in a limited protection area, meaning that no suppression is underway. Cabins will be protected as deemed necessary.
A 40-acre fire was reported Monday 20 miles northwest of Fort Yukon and burning black spruce and tundra tussocks. Fourteen smokejumpers were sent to the scene. The fire is burning on Alaska Native-owned land as in a full suppression zone.
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