Southwest Alaska fire report

June 20, 2015


EXTREME FIRE DANGER throughout Southwest Alaska!
BURN BAN ON ALL State, Municipal and Private Lands OF WESTERN ALASKA

Fire # 229,  Whitefish Lake 1, ten miles south of the village of Lower Kalskag, on Friday was running in black spruce on its north side where it was 100% active and had advanced about 800 feet beyond the previous perimeter.  The Lower Kalskag crew and the Chena Hotshots will be conducting a burn-out to block advance toward critical sites.

Fire # 242, Can Creek, was last observed on June 18 when it mapped at 22,600 acres, all in territory designated for Limited protection. According to MODIS heat detection satellite data the fire continues to expand its perimeter, mostly on the west, east and southeast sides.

ELEVEN NEW FIRES, 6/19.   All except the Newtok Dump fire were started by lightning strikes on Friday:

Fire 339, Little Waldren Fork reported by a pilot, is 61 miles southeast of McGrath. It is in Limited protection zone.  

Fire 343, HoHolitna, 17 mi southeast of Sleetmute, is in a Full protection area.  Six smokejumpers were dropped on the 80 acre fire Friday evening.   The Helena Initial Attach crew has been deployed to secure the edge and work hotspots on the interior.  The jumpers are being retrieved to McGrath  to be available for other fires.

 Fire 344, Basket Creek is 14 miles southeast of Sleetmute.  Two smokejumpers contained the fire at one-half acre.

Fire 348, Why Lake, 12 mi downriver from Lime was estimated on Friday evening by a smokejumper Spotter to be 750 acres. At the time of observation strong winds from the thunderstorm were blowing the very active fire south toward the river.  Turbulence and smoke prevented getting fire personnel to the fire or Lime Village.  The village is on the opposite side of the river and is not presently threatened.  However, when conditions permit, firefighters will be deployed to the village for updating site protection work done in 2013 when wildfire threatened.

 Fire 349, Spruce Creek  2 mi south of Nikolai  was attacked by air tanker retardant drops and two smokejumpers. The Nikolai Crew is being re-positioned from Fire 229 to relieve smokejumpers on this fire and Fire 352 (Scow Harry Creek).

Fire 352, Scow Harry Creek,  Six smokejumpers and retardant were dropped on this fire (separately!) on Friday evening.  It is a small fire, 17 miles northeast of Medfra and is expected to be contained today.  The Nikolai Crew is being re-positioned from Fire 229 to relieve smokejumpers on this fire and Fire 349 (Spruce Creek).

Fire 353, Moose, Creek  10 miles north of Stony River village was 3 to 5 acres, smoldering with multiple spot fires In black spruce.  Although in Limited protection status, it is near a Full protection zone and suppression action may be taken, depending on the fire’s behavior and availability of resources.

Fire 356, Stink River a 100 acre black spruce fire is 25 miles downriver from Lime Village on the north side of Stony River.  A historic homestead is located near the fire and point protection for buildings may be established, depending on fire behavior and available resources .

Fire 364, Twin Lakes, 3 miles downstream from the Lakes which are on the west front of the Alaska Range was reported as one acre.  It is in a Limited protection area inside the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and will be monitored by the National Park Service.

Fire 369, Oskawlik River,  located 25 miles south of the village of Crooked Creek was 15 acres in Limited and will be monitored.

Fire 360,  Newtok Dump, a fire In the dump across the river from the village of Newtok on the Y-K Delta was reported by a State Trooper.  No action was taken due to higher priority fires.  The fire is in monitor status.
SIX NEW FIRES, SATURDAY. 6/20, as of 4:00 PM.   All were started by lightning strikes:

Fire 376, Hickey Creek, 13 miles ENE of Iditarod, 1,000 acres, 70 % active, no structures threatened. Plan is to monitor.

Fire 377, Iditarod River is 250 acres near the ghost town of Iditarod.  Smokejumpers will conduct a burn-out to protect Iditarod.

Fire 378, Reindeer River, detected by MODIS satellite.  Maybe 40 acres, it is 18 miles southwest of Iditarod in Limited protection and will be monitored.

Fire 379, Lime Hills, 30 miles east of Lime Village was also detected by MODIS in Limited protection area. Detection flight will check it out.

Fire 387, Little Swift Creek. Received reports of multiple fires in this part of the Kisaralek Valley, 75 miles east of Eek, that was confirmed by MODIS satellite.  It is in Limited protection and estimated at 25 acres.  It will be checked by detection aircraft.

Fire 391, Fog River,  Located in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge 15 miles southeast of Akiak, detected by MODIS in Limited.  Estimated 300-500 acres.  In monitor status.

CONTACT:  Francis Mitchell, Public Information Officer, Southwest Area, Division of Forestry
NOTE PHONE # CHANGE        Phone 907 524 0064        

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