A fire is burning in a wooded area near the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Alaska Division of Forestry has sent helicopters and water-scooping aircraft.

According to an announcement on social media, the fire is burning between Lepus Avenue and Weston Drive, which are near Yankovich Road, and there are homes nearby.

“Four water scooping aircraft have been bombing it with water and two helicopters are on scene making water drops to try and contain the fire while crews are mobilized,” reads a post on Alaska Division of Forestry Facebook page. “Eight smokejumpers have landed and are hiking into the fire, which is about one-half mile off the road system. Helitack and engines are also on scene.”

The fire is burning in black spruce with tree torching and flame lengths as high as 12 feet. People are asked to avoid the area.

A local pilot reported the fire at 2:41 p.m. A large smoke column prompted multiple calls to authorities.

Contact the newsroom at 459-7572.