Stuart Creek 2 Fire 57 Percent Contained

The Stuart Creek 2 Fire burning northeast of Fairbanks is 57 percent contained despite warm, dry weather over the weekend. The fire grew to more than 85,000 acres Sunday.

Bernie Pineda is a spokesman with the Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska Fire Service.

“Fire crews continue to contain and secure the western side of the perimeter using fire lines in tandem with dozers,” Pineda said. “The northeast and north corner of the perimeter will have a fire line at least down to the border of the military area.”

“This is portion of the fire where it’s prohibited to place firefighters on the ground due to unexploded ordinance.”

Pineda says three spot fires were located during aerial flights of the fire perimeter Sunday night.  At least one crossed the South Fork of the Chena River onto state recreation land, which remains closed because of the blaze.  Pineda says fighting the small blazes could be challenging.

“Air support will be requested and used as a window of opportunity is provided due to large amounts of smoke,” Pineda said.

An evacuation watch remains in effect for residents living between mileposts 16 and 34 along Chena Hot Spring Road.

This weekend’s warm and windy weather restarted the West Fork Fire, also burning in Alaska’s interior.  It was first reported earlier this month.

“Eight jumpers were deployed and also provide structural protection to a cabin nearby,” Pineda said. “The fire is reported at 800 acres, north of Tanana River and west of the town of Ruby.”

There are currently 75 actives fires in the state, which have burned more than a million acres.