FAIRBANKS, Alaska - While the firefighters are working on the Shovel Creek Fire, there are many other moving pieces behind the scenes. Lieutenant Brandon Elkins with the Army National Guard says they are operating traffic control points, "which will protect the area, it'll prevent the area from looters and people who maybe just well intending, maybe just curious, but will provide safety and ease of access so our guys can just fight the fire."
Kale Casey with the Pacific Northwest Team 2, says this operation is going to get complicated and the national guard helps them focus on the fire. "This black spruce is dry, when the wind kicks up in the next couple of days, it's going to move, we all know that, that's exactly what it did on Saturday when it crossed our fire lines, so having the guard here, lets us focus on our mission which is to make absolutely sure this fire does not get into those subdivisions and impact private homes," said Casey.
Elkins says the guardsmen helping with traffic are from Fairbanks and the Anchorage area. "We're not armed, we're here just to kind of help the civilian agencies that are in the area, we're you're neighbors, we're here because we care about the state," said Elkins.