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Fire officials prepare to downgrade management of wildfire northwest of Fairbanks

Posted: June 20, 2011 - 9:55pm

FAIRBANKS — A wildfire near Fairbanks is being downgraded to a locally managed blaze.

The fire, estimated at more than 35 square miles, is 61 percent contained, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. The only uncontained side is the fire’s north edge.

Fresh smoke from blaze was visible from Fairbanks on Sunday, but it came from an area that is already contained.

Fire public information officer Sara Saarloos said downgrading of management of the fire, about 15 miles northwest of Fairbanks, is expected to begin Wednesday.

A wildfire northeast of Delta Junction has already been downgraded to a locally managed fire.

Fire managers said that blaze is only 39 percent contained. But they added containment lines have been completed along the flanks of the fire that were most likely to threaten structures.

“We’re not going for 100 percent containment,” dispatcher Chris Lyon said. “We’re transitioning from this being a suppression effort to it being a monitoring effort.”

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