Denali National Park fires prompt closures

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A member of the fire crew makes their way to the front lines in Denali National Park. Photo credit: NPS/Ollig

Aircraft and firefighters have been working the Riley Fire west of the railroad and north of the Denali National Park entrance since Sunday. The fire, located across from Glitter Gulch, blew up on Sunday afternoon. Aircraft have made numerous water and retardant drops. About 50 firefighters are working directly on the fire’s edge and using a ridge line to prevent the fire from spreading south.

The Park Road into Denali National Park is currently closed and the situation remains dynamic. Vehicles are being turned around at the park entrance. All tour and transit buses scheduled to run on Monday have been cancelled with the exception of camper buses, which will on run on their scheduled pickup routes for eastbound campers who are leaving.

The Denali Visitor Center and all other public facilities, trails, campgrounds and other areas will remain closed Monday, the National Park service said.

The State of Alaska has moved to the highest Preparedness Level 5. Power remains out for most customers in the Nenana Canyon area due to fire activity and response. Cooler temperatures are expected today and that will help with fire containment activities, the state fire website says.

“Campground reservations that haven’t already made it to their campsite will not be allowed entrance into the park.*  The decision on whether new campground reservations for 7/1 will be honored will be made on 7/1 after assessing current fire conditions. If you have not checked into your campsite and your reservation is cancelled due to the fire, you should get an automatic refund,” the Park Service wrote.

A federal Temporary Flight Restriction is also in place to provide safety for firefighting aircraft working on the Riley Fire. The Tri-Valley Community Center is the Evacuation Information Center at Mile 0.5 Healy Spur Road in Healy.

Monday has temperatures in the mid-60s and a chance of isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. By Tuesday afternoon, a strong low pressure system is expected to bring westerly winds, followed by wetter, cooler weather.

Go to the Denali National Park and Preserve website for closure information.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t see any information here or on other sites (AK Fire for example) on what the possible cause or the cause of the fire is.

  2. We just went to the park on Thursday. It was 83 and beautiful out! Couldn’t happen at a worse time with the Fourth of July celebration. It’s pretty crowded there. God Bless the firefighters!

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