For more info, go to the AK Fire Info website associated with this post; website icon, below. Status as of 1830.
July 14, 6:30 p.m. – Firefighters are attacking a lightning-caused wildfire threatening several cabins on the Salcha River south of Fairbanks, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry.
The Mid Salcha Fire was reported at around 4:30 p.m. and had grown to about 100 acres as of 6 p.m. The fire is located about 15 air miles upriver from the Richardson Highway. It is one-half mile south of the river and 3 miles north of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.
A load of smokejumpers from the BLM Alaska Fire Service has been dropped on the fire and an air tanker, water-scooping aircraft and a helicopter are being used to drop water and retardant on the fire to slow its spread. The objective at this point is to keep the fire south of the river and north of the pipeline while protecting cabins threatened by the fire.
There are at least 10 structures threatened by the fire, some of which are less than a quarter mile away. Smokejumpers are working to protect cabins while air resources try to slow the spread of the fire.
The fire was reported at around 20 acres at 5:10 p.m. and was growing rapidly due to 15-20 mph winds.
State Forestry is contending with several other fires in the Fairbanks area that have been reported as a result of lightning strikes.
A staging area has been set up at milepost 314 of the Richardson Highway to mobilize supplies and equipment for firefighters. Boats are being hired to transport firefighters and haul supplies.
A lightning-caused wildfire threatening multiple cabins on the Salcha River is now estimated at 175 acres but the intensity of the fire has diminished due to cloud cover and higher relative humidity as a result of rain showers in the area, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry.
Two air tankers, two water-scooping aircraft and multiple helicopters were also effective in helping slow the spread of the Mid Salcha Fire with repeated retardant and water drops. Strong south winds that pushed the fire toward the river earlier in the evening also calmed down and the wind is now out of the west.