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Thick smoke hinders oversight of Caribou Creek fire

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Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:15 pm, Wed Aug 14, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — After weekend flare ups, Monday was a quieter day on two of the recently active fires in the Fairbanks area.

Despite concerns about aggressive growth, the new Caribou Creek Fire north of the Salcha River was believed to be about 400 acres Monday afternoon, or not much bigger than it had been the day before, said Trish Hogervorst a spokeswoman for the interagency team fighting the fire. Firefighters are securing the southern side and predict any new movement in the fire is most likely on the northeast side, she said.  

The fire started Sunday afternoon on State Mental Health Trust land between Butte and Caribou Creek and about two miles north of the Salcha River. It’s listed as human-caused, meaning it was not caused by lightning.

Mississippi Fire

There also wasn’t much growth Monday on the 40,800-acre Mississippi Fire near Delta Junction.

That fire made major runs to the north during the weekend, but by Monday, the winds were relatively calm by Delta Junction standards, said spokesman Pete Buist with the Type 1 interagency team fighting the fire.  Winds were from the west to northwest, which meant Delta Junction saw better air quality than it had been having, although Fort Greely saw smokier conditions, he said.

The Mississippi Fire most directly threatens the Richardson Clearwater, Southbank Homestead and Whitestone Farms, which are on the same side of the Delta and Tanana rivers as the fire.

“We don’t think anyone is in immediate danger right now,” Buist said.

The fire is probably closest to the Tanana and Delta rivers between Big Delta and Shaw Creek, he said.

The Mississippi Fire was first reported May 30 and is listed as human-caused.

Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.

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