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Wildfires flare up in Tanana Flats, send smoke into Fairbanks

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Posted: Saturday, July 23, 2011 10:22 am | Updated: 1:16 pm, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

Updated 11:19 p.m.

FAIRBANKS — Two small fires south of Fairbanks grew Saturday and sent smoke over the city.

Lightning sparked both fires, one, the Clear Creek Fire south of the Tanana River, 19 miles south of town near the confluence of Clear Creek and Dry Creek and another 15 miles south of town, the Bonnifield No. 1 Fire south of the Tanana River and south of Clear Creek Butte.

The Clear Creek fire covered about 340 acres and the Bonnifield No. 1 Fire covered about 260 acres on Saturday afternoon.

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service Military Zone is monitoring the fire.

Public information officer for the fire service Artealia Gilliard said, “There’s no reason to (contain it)” at this point. For now, it will be monitored.

“There’s no values at risk as far as structure,” she explained Saturday. The fires are both on military lands.

With the weekend’s hot weather, Gilliard said the fire service was expecting a pick-up in activity and smoke. Smoke from the fire may be visible through the weekend.

Currently, 37 fires are burning across the state; only one, a 3-acre fire near Rampart, is staffed. So far this year, 456 fires have burned 278,005 acres statewide, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.

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