Wildland Fire Roundup for Thursday, June 4th

12:00 p.m. — Precipitation through much of the state helped keep new fire starts down Wednesday. Four new fires were reported, the largest being the 30-acre Innoko River Fire, east of Grayling. Lightning caused that fire. Eight smokejumpers were deployed to protect allotments. Those firefighers got help from light precipitation on the fire.

A helitack crew was dispatched to the two-acre Big Creek Fire, a lightning-caused fire 25 miles south of Takotna. The crew worked through the night, with bucket assistance from the helicopter, to establish a perimeter around that fire.

Two fires were reported at 0.1 acre. The Powerline 1 Fire near Kenny Lake occurred when wind knocked a tree onto a powerline . The Alaska Division of Forestry and local volunteer crews responded. The Sweren Fire near Fairbanks was reported as a structure fire that spread to surrounding wildlands off Chena Hot Springs Road. Helitack, an engine crew, and a water tender responded. The wildland fire was contained, controlled and placed in monitor status.

Much of the focus of firefighting efforts again today is the 14,200-acre Whitefish Lake 1 Fire, burning about 10 miles southwest of Kalskag in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. The Whitefish Lake 1 and Whitefish Lake 2 fires were joined together by a burnout operation and they are now being managed as one fire. The Yukon, Chevak, Hooper Bay, and Gannett Glacier crews and the Pioneer Peak Interagency Hot Shots are working on that fire. Crews have established a control line on the east flank of the fire and are working, with the help of water-scooping aircraft to build a line on the west side. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over that fire. Additional information on temporary flight restrictions can be found at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html.

Another large, lightning-caused fire is burning in southwest Alaska. The 8,268-acre Bogus Creek Fire is also in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge just south of the Whitefish Lake Fire 1. Water scooping aircraft may be used to direct the fire into natural barriers to contain it.

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The Whitefish Lake fires on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Alaska Division of Forestry photo

The Whitefish Lake fire on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Alaska Division of Forestry photo

The Whitefish Lake fire on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Alaska Division of Forestry photo

The Whitefish Lake fire on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Alaska Division of Forestry photo

The Bogus Creek fire on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Alaska Division of Forestry photo

The Bogus Creek fire on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Alaska Division of Forestry photo

Wet weather helped to put a damper on fires burning on military land near Delta Junction. Crews are being demobilized from the 15-acre Hillbilly and four-acre Ptarmigan fires. However, a Temporary Flight Restriction also remains in place over that fire. Rain is also helping firefighters working to improve a line around the 2,800-acre Seventy Mile Fire near Eagle.

Of the 221 wildland fires this season so far, six fires are currently staffed and 32 are being monitored. A total of 31,218 acres have burned to date.

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