Fire activity continues in Alaska

August 12, 2014 12:35 p.m.

Fire season in Alaska feels like it’s over. Constant rain and resources sent to Lower 48 may reinforce that notion, but fire season goes on. Human related fire activity presents a constant threat for fire managers as people explore the outdoors and take advantage of the rest of the summer with various activities. This is also the time of year for lightning related fire starts.

August 11 provided a good example of the effects of lightning. There were eight new starts in the Alaska Fire Service protection area.

The Koyuk River Fire was the largest at 100 acres. At 5:05 p.m., a commercial aircraft pilot reported seeing a new fire located 6 miles northeast of Koyuk. The fire, located in a modified management option area, was first reported at 10 acres during a surveillance flight. Fire managers determined that action needed to be taken due to its location. Eight smokejumpers were delivered to the fire at 8:20 p.m. The fire was 85 percent active and had grown to 60 acres. Ground resources estimated the fire at 100 acres at around 9 p.m. but no additional resources were requested.

The remaining fires are located in limited management option areas and are placed in monitor status. The exception is the Diamond Fire, also located near Koyuk near the mouth of the Ungalik River. The fire was reported at 6:09 p.m. by a private citizen from the village of Koyuk. It was also plotted in a modified management option area and fire managers determined that action was needed. A surveillance aircraft responded at 6:35 p.m. but no activity was found.

Fire season is not over…yet. Please continue to use extreme caution during outdoor activities whether at work or play. It only takes a spark. Be safe with fire.

For additional information about Alaska fires view the AICC Situation Report at the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center (AICC) website.

About afsakfireinfo

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 240 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with over $15 million in inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.

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