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Haystack fire near Fairbanks grows to over 500 acres, additional crews requested

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 5:24 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Division of Forestry (DOF) is fighting a fire north of Fairbanks called the Haystack Fire. The blaze started Monday afternoon and originally was only around 5 acres. The fire has since grown to over 500 acres.

“Right now they are using heavy equipment, bulldozers, to sort of build containment line around that heel of the fire, so there is... really lessens the chance of that moving closer to the subdivision” said Tim Mowry, a public information officer for the DOF.

When the fire first started aircraft responded to drop water and retardant. Monday night they had a control line and the fire was around 5 acres.

“Tuesday morning everything seemed to be going well and then it jumped across a control line somehow and just sort of got into some black spruce and took off to the north,” Mowry said.

The fire is currently not threatening any houses and firefighters are working to keep the fire from spreading towards the subdivision.

“So it’s moving away from the Haystack subdivision. It is a little less than two-miles north of that haystack subdivision. That’s the area where crews are really focusing their efforts right now. We got about 50 people out there working on this fire,” Mowry said.

Mowry said that over the next few days a type two incident management team from the State of Alaska will take control of the fire. There are also additional crews from the lower-48 coming to help with the work.

The haystack fire is not the only fire burning in the Interior. A crew is working on a small fire near Fort Knox Gold Mine that is currently around 7 acres. There are also fires near Manly Hot Springs. Smoke plumes from those fires can be seen from Fairbanks

Mowry reminds residents that there is a burn suspension in effect, meaning that burn piles and burn barrels are prohibited. He says that fire resources are already stretched thin with lightening fires, and can’t afford to take on new human caused fires.

Fairbanks North Star Borough residents are encouraged to sign-up for fire updates. Residents can text “FNSB2021Wildfire” to 226787.

More fire and weather information is available at the Bureau of Land Management website.

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