News Release

First Wildfire of 2022 Burning in Gates of the Arctic

View of Eroded Mountain above the North Fork Koyukuk River
Archive photo of the North Fork Koyukuk River near the Wormy Fire #334 location

NPS/Josh Spice

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News Release Date: June 22, 2022

Contact: Josh Spice, 907-455-0609

The first fire of 2022 in Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve was discovered yesterday, June 21. The lightning-caused Wormy Fire (#334) is estimated at 9.5 acres, approximately 21 miles west-northwest of Wiseman. The fire is burning on a ridge on the east side of the North Fork Koyukuk River, between the confluences of the Tinayguk and Glacier Rivers, in a limited management option area. Based on current and predicted fire conditions, no values or structures are currently at risk. The fire will be monitored by Alaska Fire Service aircraft that are currently monitoring multiple other lightning-caused fires to the southeast along the Dalton Highway. 

Historic fires in the Koyukuk River area have remained small; with the combination of fire-limiting topography and the Koyukuk river as a natural barrier, the spread of the fire will be hindered. Visitors and pilots are cautioned to be aware of wildfire smoke and fire management aircraft, as a high-pressure weather system moves into Alaska, bringing warmer, drier, fire-prone conditions.  

To report a wildland fire in Alaska, call the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center at 1-800-237-3633. 

Fire in Alaska’s boreal forest is an essential process that restores ecosystem health and helps maintain species diversity. The National Park Service works with its interagency partners, neighboring communities, and other stakeholders to balance the risks and benefits of wildland fire when making decisions on fire management.  

For statewide fire information visit: or

Additional park information is available by calling the Bettles Visitor Center at (907) 692-5494 or the Fairbanks Alaska Public Lands Information Center at (907) 459-3730 between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm daily, or by visiting the Gates of the Arctic website at

Last updated: June 22, 2022

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