Wildfire chars 300 acres east of Fairbanks

Posted: Friday, June 09, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A wildfire about 45 miles east of Fairbanks has closed a popular hiking trail in the Chena River State Recreation Area.

The wildfire, which likely began as a campfire, will be allowed to burn unless it nears Chena Hot Springs Road or threatens private cabins or inholdings, a state forestry official said Thursday.

Tom Kurth, a fire management officer with the state Division of Forestry, said the wildfire was quiet Thursday until skies cleared and the wind picked up in the afternoon. It began building and moving southeast, further into the recreation area.

''We are keeping an eye on it,'' Kurth said.

The fire is estimated to have charred around 300 acres of thick, black spruce and some stands of birch and aspen.

Barricades were placed Wednesday across the Granite Tors Trail, closing the area to campers and hikers.

The fire was reported by a motorist Tuesday afternoon.

The Granite Tors trail is one of the Interior's most popular hiking trails. The 15-mile loop climbs above tree line to 3,300 feet.

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