UPDATE: Aggie Creek Fire grows to 31,700 acres; Pipeline precautions continue
Originally published Saturday, July 11
Updated Monday, July 13 at 11:40 a.m.
The Aggie Creek Fire grew to 31,755 acres — up from a reported 28,528 acres on Sunday.
Officials continue to hold the existing fire perimeter line near the Alyeska Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Over the weekend, crews dropped fire retardant to strengthen the protection of the Elliot Highway corridor and nearby structures.
“We are extremely pleased with efforts on the ground” said Tim Dabney with the Alaska Division of Natural Resources in a Monday release. “Lots of work remains to be done, but we are confident in the path forward.”
Saturday, the fire was estimated to be about a half-mile from the pipeline. Luckily, the steel pipe is coated with fire-resistant foam insulation, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.
The Aggie Creek Fire is located about 30 miles northwest of Fairbanks, between Mile 33 and 37 the Elliott Highway. The blaze, now 37 percent contained, has cost about $8.1 million in resources so far.
Forest conditions remain critically dry. Due to slightly higher humidity, fire crews are anticipating more moderate fire behavior, with active surface fire and some individual tree torching. Fire managers will continue to use air tankers and helicopters for water drops as needed.
Additionally, crews will be actively constructing a new perimeter line along the north toward Tatalina Creek.
Those traveling in the Elliot Highway area are encouraged to be cautious of localized smoke.
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