Clear Fire and McDonald Fire Merge as Fire Activity Increases – Alaska Wildfire Information

Salcha Fire Department view of increased fire behavior on the McDonald Fire, Wednesday, June 26. Photo by Terry Solomon BLM AFS.
Map showing the perimeter of the McDonald Fire on June 27.
Size: 107,391 acres Numbers: 83 Start date: June 8, 2024 Cause: Lightning

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Fire behavior continues to be active on the McDonald Fire. The Clear Fire and McDonald Fire grew yesterday, and since today's change, the fires have merged. Pioneer Peak and Midnight Suns surge teams continue to focus their efforts on securing the fire line and protecting cabin structures along 5 Mile Creek and military infrastructure. Plumas Hotshots will join the teams' efforts this afternoon and an additional wildfire module is expected to join them on Friday.

An Alaska Department of Forestry and Fire (DOF) engine and the 11-person White Mountain module will continue to patrol Richardson Road and adjacent subdivisions. Two lookouts provide timely updates on fire behavior to firefighters on the ground.

The fire persists west of the Tanana River. The fire risk in the region remains extremely high on Thursday and through the weekend.

Smoke moving into the Fairbanks area will impact air quality through Thursday. Use caution and turn on your headlights when driving as smoke may impair visibility.

Weather report: RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 10AM TO 10PM THURSDAY. Thursday is expected to be warm again with a minimum humidity of 31% and light winds expected to increase slightly from the east this afternoon. Scattered wet thunderstorms are likely near the fire Thursday afternoon and overnight. These storms may bring hail, heavy rain, frequent lightning, and erratic wind gusts up to 50 mph. Thunderstorms will taper off after midnight with a lingering shower possible, then isolated wet thunderstorms will be possible again Friday afternoon. Temperatures are expected to begin to cool this weekend.

Burning permit: The DOF has issued burning permit suspensions for the Fairbanks, Salcha, Delta, Tok and Railbelt areas. The fire risk in these areas remains HIGH. Please call the Fairbanks Area Forestry Burn Permit Hotline at (907) 451-2631 for the most current updates.

Air quality: An Air Quality Advisory issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) is in effect for central and eastern Alaska due to wildfire smoke until 2 p.m., Thursday, June 27. Low-level smoke during the evening and early morning hours will impact communities near the McDonald Fire. ADEC expects increased smoke production from wildfires in Canada and Alaska during the advisory period. Information on how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke can be found on the Smoke Management page at

Evacuation notice:The Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) has issued a Level 2 Evacuation Notice: SET for the approximately 20 cabins located near the southern edge of the fire. FNSB also has areas along the neighborhoods of Lower Salcha River, Harding Lake, Hollies Acres, Canaday, Salcha and Johnson Road in READY status. More information and an interactive map of these areas can be found on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Emergency Services website.

Temporary flight restriction: The location is 30 nautical miles southeast of Fairbanks to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft.


Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Fire Service, PO Box 35005 1541 Gaffney Road, Fort Wainwright, Ak 99703

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The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland firefighting services on more than 240 million acres of Department of Interior and Alaska Native lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities including: interpreting fire management policy; overseeing the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communications and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with an inventory of $18.1 million. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland firefighting services for America's “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Army Alaska.

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Categories: AK Fire Info, BLM Alaska Fire Service

Tags: Clear Fire, McDonald Fire

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