Fairbanks is a home rule city in and the borough seat of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska.
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska, and second largest in the state behind Anchorage. It is the main city of the Fairbanks, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to 2010 census, the population of the city was 31,535, and the Fairbanks metropolitan area's population was 97,581. Fairbanks has to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the oldest of Alaska's current colleges.
Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez-Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post.
On August 14, 1967, after an unprecedented record rainfall upstream, the Chena began to go over it banks, flooding almost the entire town of Fairbanks overnight. This disaster eventually led to the creation of the Chena River Lakes Flood Control Project, which built and operates the 50-foot-high Moose Creek Dam in the Chena River and accompanying 8-mile-long spillway.
Fairbanks is located in the central Tanana Valley, on the banks of the Chena River near its confluence with the Tanana River. Immediately north of the city is a chain of hills that rises gradually until it reaches the White Mountains and the Yukon River. The southern border of the city is the Tanana River. South of the river is the Tanana Flats, an area comprising marsh and bog that stretches for more than 100 miles until it rises into the Alaska Range, which is visible from Fairbanks on clear days.To the east and west are low valleys separated by ranges of hills up to 3,000 feet above sea level.
City water, sanitary sewer, and electric systems are operated by private players.Fairbanks offers a diverse economy, including city, borough, state, and federal government services; and transportation, communication, manufacturing, mining, financial, and regional medical services. Over one third of the employment is in government services, including Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright personnel. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is also a major employer. Approximately 325,000 tourists visit Fairbanks each summer.As the transportation hub for Interior Alaska, Fairbanks boasts of extensive road, rail, and air connections to the rest of Alaska and Outside.