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Contact: Kris Fister, (907) 683-9583
DENALI PARK, Alaska: Two new fires were detected in Denali National Park and Preserve over the weekend. The McKinley River East Fire was confirmed on Friday evening, and is one of the more active fires burning in the park. The 2,561-acre fire is approximately 14 miles northwest of Wonder Lake and 11 miles west of Kantishna, just south of the site of a large 1986 fire adjacent to the McKinley River. It is not threatening any developed areas or other critical resources. The other new fire, the Chilchukabena Lake Fire, is approximately ¼ mile north of the Moving River Fire and will likely merge with it soon. It is estimated to be 550 acres.
The lightning-ignited fires burning in remote backcountry areas north of the Denali Park Road are also not threatening any critical resources and, with the exception of the Toklat River East Fire, have shown no growth. The Toklat River East Fire has been actively burning and smoke columns may be visible from the Toklat area of the Denali Park Road. It is currently 48 acres in size. The Wigand Fire and Wyoming Hills fires have shown little activity and are one acre or less in size. The Sandless Lake Fire near the northern park boundary was recently mapped for the first time and is currently 8,445 acres.It is 80% active with some torching. The Bear Creek Fire approximately 15 miles northwest of Kantishna is 1,132 acres. All of these fires will continue to be monitored for any significant changes in activity.
The National Park Service fire crew assessed the Brooker Mountain and Xerxes wildfires, located in Kantishna and near Wonder Lake, and both have been declared out.
The Moving River Fire located approximately 30 miles northwest of Kantishna is now at 26,250 acres, with its primary growth to the south. This fire is being managed by the Type 3 interagency incident management team at Lake Minchumina.
The Beaver Log Lakes Fire is also being managed by the Type 3 interagency incident management team.The fire has increased to 59,000 acres, an increase of 4,000 acres since June 29. Most of the acreage is outside Denali National Preserve. Fire personnel have initiated structure protection and where applicable are burning out areas around cabins and other buildings on the north shore of Lake Minchumina.
Visit http://www.nps.gov/dena/parkmgmt/currentfireinfo.htm for current information about wildfires in Denali National Park and Preserve.
Fire danger for the park and surrounding area remains high to extreme. The National Park Service is urging park visitors to be extremely cautious with anything that could start a wildfire. Campfires are being discouraged, but they are permitted in the fire grates in three of the park's campgrounds.Fires are not allowed in the park's wilderness areas. Fireworks are not allowed in the park and will be confiscated. Persons using fireworks in the park may be prosecuted.
There are currently 116 active wildfires in the state. Where there is fire, there is smoke. Due to the current and expected statewide fire activity, park visitors should anticipate the possibility of varying levels of smoke in the park. Wildfire smoke information is available at http://dec.alaska.gov/air/smokemain.htm. Visit http://fire.ak.blm.gov for statewide information and a map of the active fires.