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Interior's Dry Creek Fire blazes on, passes 40,000-acre mark

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

As of Saturday, the Dry Creek Fire 25 miles south of Fairbanks had added some 27,500 acres to its growing path this week. According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center (AICC), the fire has now burned an estimated 42,000 acres, a leap up from Monday morning's 14,478 acres.

Strong northeasterly winds caused the fire to take an unexpected turn, according to the Fire Information Office at the Alaska Fire Service. It is now running south, closing in on the Tanana River and passing through the U.S. Army's Fort Wainwright land.

AICC reports that lightning strikes ignited the fire two months ago. It was considered inactive for more than six weeks until reactivated by the strong northeasterly winds. It is now 40 percent active -- one of only four actively burning wildfires in the state following a quiet July and early August.

On Friday, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported an air-quality advisory was issued for the Fairbanks, North Pole and the North Star Borough areas. According to the News-Miner, "The advisory notes that poor air quality is likely (to) persist in spots throughout the weekend in areas downwind (from the) wildfire burning on military land..."

Concerned residents are advised to visit the North Star Borough's website for further information.