Traffic Flow Improved in Skinny'S Road Fire Area
Incident: Skinny'S Road Wildfire
Travelers on the Parks Highway between Fairbanks and Nenana are encountering shorter wait times at the roadblocks in the Skinny’s Road Fire area. The fire is near Milepost 328, and pilot cars guide traffic to avoid collisions with fire suppression-related traffic.
The Skinny’s Road Fire has increased to 1,662 acres because of fire line re-routing. The fire is 45 percent contained. Full containment is expected on July 4.
Firefighters and fire engines are working along the north side of the highway, and heavy equipment – bulldozers, lowboys and water tenders – are frequently entering and exiting the highway. The roadblocks and pilot cars are provided by the Alaska Department of Transportation, which established the roadblock at the request of the Skinny’s Road Fire’s incident management team.
The fire is being managed by an Oregon Department of Forestry incident management team, which took control of fire suppression actions on Sunday, June 30. The team is working cooperatively with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.
More than 400 firefighters are assigned to the fire today, and they are improving fire lines to reduce the likelihood of the fire escaping. Flames occasionally rise inside the burned area because there are islands of unburned vegetation – primarily black spruce – inside the fire line. Afternoon and evening winds will cause small groups of trees inside the burned area to “torch” and send embers aloft. Better fire line alignment and strategic burning of these unburned areas reduces the chance that embers will cross the fire line. Hoses and portable water tanks have been installed around much of the fire’s perimeter, and mop-up is underway in many areas. Helicopters are available to drop buckets of water on hotspots.
Information about the fire is available online at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3456/, and by calling:
- Incident Command Post Fire Information, (907) 451-1726.
- Alaska Joint Information Center, (907) 356-5511.
- Bulletin boards with fire updates and maps are posted at the Gold Hill store and Skinny’s Halfway Inn.