Lightning Sparks Eli River Wildfire in Noatak National Preserve

Aerial view of the Eli River Fire on July 17, 2015 at approximately 7:30 am
Aerial view of the Eli River Fire on July 17, 2015 at approximately 7:30 am

NPS photo / Dan Stevenson

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News Release Date: July 17, 2015

Contact: Linda Jeschke, 907-442-8321

KOTZEBUE, Alaska - At approximately 1 am on July 17, 2015 a private citizen from the village of Noatak reported a wildfire in Noatak National Preserve.The lightning-ignited Eli River Fire is located about 15 miles southeast of the village of Noatak.

As of noon on July 17, the fire was approximately 20 acres in size, with a 90% active perimeter, creeping, backing in tundra, and grass in a full suppression management area.

Due to the proximity of the fire to a native allotment, located upslope to the east of the fire, it was determined that action needed to be taken. Eight smokejumpers, air attack, and a fire boss are currently working to achieve containment.

The weather forecast for today is for mostly cloudy with a chance of additional thunderstorms and gusty winds.Temperatures and relative humidities are forecasted to moderate through the weekend, though winds are expected to remain gusty.

Statewide wildfire information is available at or or by calling the Joint Information Center at (907) 356-5511.

Additional park information is available on the web at

Last updated: July 17, 2015

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PO Box 1029
Kotzebue, AK 99752


(907) 442-3890

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