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Contact: Kris Fister, (907) 547-2233
Three new fires were observed during a fire detection flight late Monday, June 4, all ignited by lightning occurring over the weekend. None of these fires are currently being staffed by personnel, but all are being monitored.
The Webber Creek Fire, located on the south side of the Yukon River approximately 12 miles west of Slaven’s Roadhouse, is the largest of these new starts at 167 acres. This fire has the potential for growth, and will be managed for resource benefit and other objectives. There are private lands, historical structures, and mining equipment potentially at risk in the Woodchopper Creek drainage approximately 6 miles east of the fire. Fire managers are monitoring the fire closely in order to protect these resources. An area previously burned by a 2007 fire may provide a natural barrier to help protect the drainage.
Woodchopper Creek got its name because it served as a refueling stop for paddlewheel steamboats needing wood as they transited the Yukon River. The site was the location of small scale mining in the early 1900s that transitioned to industrial scale from 1935 – 1960. Today the patented claims in the drainage exist as a private inholding within the Preserve, and the dredge and mining camp serve as reminders of the area’s mining history.
The other fires are small (.10 acres) and show little potential for spreading at this time. The Bull Creek Fire is on the south side of the Yukon River approximately 20 miles northwest of Eagle. The Kandik Creek Fire is about 15 miles directly north of the Bull Creek Fire and is located on Doyon lands within the Preserve’s boundary.
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. Land owners can decrease the risk to their property by taking steps to make cabins and other structures more defensible against wildfire.
Additional information on the Preserve is available at www.nps.gov/yuch or by calling the Eagle Visitor Center between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at (907) 547-2233.