An Interior wildfire sparks back up

A wildfire north of Delta Junction has reignited. The more than 8 thousand acre South Fork Salcha Fire was started by lightning earlier this month in a remote area about 70 miles southeast of Fairbanks. It’s been allowed to burn, and had been subdued by rain earlier this month, before jumping back to life in drier conditions this week. Alaska Division of Forestry spokesman Tim Mowry said there are still pockets of unburned trees in the fire area.

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”Yesterday, we flew the fire and see it burning in a 100-acre or so patch of black spruce,” Mowry said. “And it did put up some smoke and the wind was such that — southeast wind — Fairbanks got a little whiff of smoke yesterday. Depending on the weather and the weather conditions and the wind directions stay the same, that could be common here in the next few days if we don’t get rain.”

Mowry said recent warm, dry weather has made for wildfire prone conditions across the eastern part of the state.

”Especially up north, we’ve got several fires burning on the North Slope,” Mowry said. “All limited suppression areas but that’s just an indication of how dry it is up there.”

The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center reported three new fires in the eastern portion of the state Thursday, including blazes in the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve, and in the Yukon Flats and Arctic National Wildlife Refuges. A 6,000-acre blaze in the Arctic Refuge is getting attention from fire fighters, who are working to protect are cabins and Native land allotments