On Wednesday, the first wildfire to burn in Denali National Park and Preserve for the 2019 season was reported.

A lightning strike sparked the Foraker Fire, which is burning between Birch Creek and Slippery Creek, about 30 miles southeast of Lake Minchumina, according to a Thursday release from the park.

The fire is reported to be about 136 acres, fueled primarily by black spruce trees. The National Park Service and the Alaska Fire Services are managing the blaze from the air and protecting any structures with crews on the ground.

The park wants to remind people that lightning-caused wildfire is an important part of the ecological process in the park, and there are multiple fires each year.

While smoke is visible at the park’s entrance, it’s not likely to be from the Foraker Fire as there are more than 120 wildfires burning in the state, the park says. Visitors to Denali are still urged to be careful with campfires and camping stoves.

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