FAIRBANKS — Fire managers moved five Oregon hotshot crews to Fairbanks this weekend as hot, dry weather was expected to keep fire danger high.
The central and eastern Interior will “become very dry and susceptible for new fire starts” this week, the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center said in a statement issued Sunday evening.
Thunderstorms could start more fires in the northern and eastern Interior later in the week, according to the statement.
The Oregon firefighters included crews from Zig Zag, Prospect, Glide, Klamath Falls and Prineville.
Several new fires were reported during the weekend.
Lightning started two fires in Denali National Park northwest of Kantishna at the west end of the park road, the National Park Service reported Sunday.
The fires, in flatlands in the northwest part of the park, are being monitored by the Alaska Fire Service. Structures will be protected, but none were threatened, the Park Service said.
The fires were reported Saturday. The Bear Creek Fire, which covered six acres Saturday, was 15 miles northwest of Kantishna and three miles west of Moose Creek.
The Moving River Fire, at five acres Saturday, was 29 miles northwest of Kantishna. The fire is south of the Kantishna River but north of a former river channel that acts as a natural fire break , the service reported.
Another 150 miles to the southwest, the Moore Creek Fire, near McGrath on the upper Kuskokwim River, grew to 126,000 acres. Another crew was moved to the fire to help protect the “numerous cabin, mine and historical sites near the fire,” according to a news release from the state Division of Forestry.
Also near McGrath, wind stoked the Village Creek Fire to 130 acres on Saturday. Aircraft and smokejumpers responded from McGrath.
Meanwhile, the Lime Village Fire had grown to 131,000 acres. The fire is within a half mile of Lime Village, a small community on the upper Stony River south of McGrath. Firefighters caught a spot fire that had crossed the fire line Thursday.
Meanwhile, firefighters are launching a concentrated attack on three lightning-caused fires near the village of Crooked Creek in the middle Kuskokwim region. The fires are all within two miles of each other.
Lightning also started several fires in the Noatak National Preserve, in northwest Alaska, during the weekend.
Contact the newsroom at