A lightning-caused wildfire that ignited near Chena Hot Springs Road outside Fairbanks Monday afternoon is now 45 acres in size, but an aggressive aerial and ground attack has halted the fire's spread, fire officials said.
The Steel Creek fire was reported at 5 p.m. just south of mile 4 Monday, as a lightning storm was rolling through the area. It was burning through black spruce within a mile of homes, which prompted an aggressive initial attack -- in addition to ground crews, smoke jumpers from Fort Wainwright, two water-scooping tankers, retardant tankers from Fairbanks and Palmer and several air tankers and helicopters responded to fight the blaze.
Calm winds and high humidity helped keep the flames in check overnight, said Jim Schwarber, fire information officer for the Fairbanks area.
"The fire is still uncontained, but it's not actively growing," Schwarber said.
About 50 people are currently on the firelines.
Reach Devin Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org  or 257-4200.
By DEVIN KELLY