Weather Alert

Fire near Arctic Circle sign prompts campground evacuations

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A wildfire burning near the Arctic Circle turnout on Alaska’s Dalton Highway has prompted evacuation of a nearby campground.

The wildfire is burning on the west side of the highway, which is also known as the haul road since it is used to haul supplies to the North Slope. The fire is near the Arctic Circle sign that is popular with tourists who drive the highway.

The fire has prompted the evacuation of a campground with 19 camp sites about a mile (1.61 kilometers) away.

It was not immediately clear how many people were at the campground. But Geoff Liesik, a spokesperson with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service, said the site is popular with those celebrating the summer solstice, which is Tuesday. The site is also popular with tourists, getting their photos taken at the Arctic Circle sign.

The nearest community is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) away, Liesik said.

Twelve smokejumpers were working the Fish Fire, aided by aerial support.

Fire officials said the fire, started by lightning, has burned on less than 1 square mile (2.59 square kilometers) in black spruce, with isolated torching.

People are asked to avoid the area because of the ongoing evacuation, fire activity and smoke across the road.

The Arctic Circle sign is about 200 miles (321.87 kilometers) northwest of Fairbanks.



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