The Shovel Creek Fire (#319) was started by lightning on June 21 and is located 3 miles north of Murphy Dome, about 20 miles northwest of Fairbanks. Depending on weather conditions, smoke from this fire may drift into the Fairbanks and surrounding areas in the coming weeks. The fire started in a Full Protection Area and the Division of Forestry ordered water-scooping aircraft, air retardant tankers and smokejumpers for initial attack. Burning in continuous black spruce, the fire grew quickly and was estimated to be 300 acres on the first evening. The Northern Rockies Team 6, led by Incident Commander Bob Fry, assumed command of the incident on July 15 at 6pm.
The objectives for the incident include:
Hold the fire perimeter, mop up to the extent necessary to reduce the likelihood of escape based on firefighter experience, terrain, fuel type, and both current and expected fire behavior and weather in the following locations:
• Chatanika River south to Murphy Dome through the Hard Luck fire scar.
• Murphy Dome east to the Martin subdivision.
• Martin subdivision north to the Chatanika River.
Identify and repair damage that has resulted from fire suppression activities, to prevent the long term
environmental degradation of the land and its natural resources, and to encourage recovery.
Back-haul materials and supplies and implement repair/rehabilitation consistent with Agency standards and in coordination with READs.
Respond to Initial Attack within the WFDSS planning area with a coordinated effort
with Alaska, Fairbanks Area Forestry for the Shovel Creek Fire. Provide Initial Attack support to the local
jurisdictions outside of the planning area when requested.
A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place in the air space over the fire. Pilots are advised to check NOTAMS at https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_9_0263.html
Date of Origin:
Friday June 21st, 2019 approx. 05:22 PM
20 miles NW of Fairbanks
NRCC Team 6 Fry
Timber(Grass and Understory)
Brush (2 feet)
Narrative: The primary fuel model is thick black spruce and mixed hardwoods on the slopes. Along the ridgetops the fuel transitions into open tundra and brush fuel types. Riparian fuel types are common along the Chatanika River, mostly consisting of mixed hardwoods, with grassy openings and bogs.
Hold the fire perimeter, patrol and monitor to reduce the likelihood of escape. Repair damage that has resulted from fire suppression activities, to prevent the long term environmental degradation of the land and its natural resources, and to encourage recovery. Implement repair/rehabilitation consistent with Agency standards and in coordination with READs. Respond to Initial Attack within the WFDSS planning area through a coordinated effort with Alaska, Fairbanks Area Forestry for the Shovel Creek Fire. Provide Initial Attack support to the local jurisdictions outside of the planning area when requested.
Projected Incident Activity:
12 hours: Increasing clouds tonight and a chance of some light showers. Max RH's should reach 75% while min temperatures will fall to the upper 50's. Wind should diminish to light and variable after 2200 ADT.
24 hours: A more unstable air-mass returns to the area with an increase in cloud cover and possible shower and wet thunderstorms. Afternoon high temperatures will be cooler today reaching near 78 degrees, while corresponding minimum RH values fall to near 45%. Winds will be light and out of the west or terrain driven.
48 hours: A front will approach the fire area late in the afternoon and will be accompanied by wetting rain at night. High temperatures will continue to fall reaching the low 70's. Corresponding RH values will range from 50 to 55%. West winds will remain light with some areas more terrain driven.
72 hours: Cloudy and cooler and showery conditions continue.
Anticipated after 72 hours: The cooler wetter pattern will continue into both Saturday and Sunday.
Virtually clear skies were observed this afternoon along with some high altitude smoke. Temperatures climbed to near 85 while RH levels fell to near 35%. Westerly winds were light this afternoon ranging from 3 to 6 mph with gusts to 12 mph.
Shovel Creek Fire Info
Hours: 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Fire Unit Information
3700 Airport Way
Fairbanks, AK 99709