Galena Zone fires update, June 26

Contact:  Public Information Officer: Bob MacGregor

Phone: 907-656-6796

What:  Galena Zone Fires

Cause:  Lightning

Location:  A series of fires on both sides of the Yukon River within the Galena Fire Management Zone and the western end of the Tanana Zone.  The major firefighting efforts at this time are concentrated on 6 fires on the south side of the Yukon River below the village of Ruby and on another 6 fires on both banks of the river near the village of Nulato.

Fire Names: Nulato River #487, Nulato River 2 #489, Nulato River 3 #492, Nulato #458, South Fork #560, Kaiyuh #351, Ruby Slough #423, Sulatna #429, Dome Creek #478, Bruno Creek #479, Big Creek #533 and Eldorado #576.

Size:  Approximately 20,000 acres.

Nulato Fires: On Thursday strong winds associated with a weather frontal passage continued to support active fire behavior around the village of Nulato.  The South Fork (#560) and Nulato River 3 (#492) merged together and continued to move to the northeast toward the buildings at Last Chance.  The Nulato River (#487) and Nulato River 2 (#489) have also united to form one fire.  The Kaiyuh (#351) fire showed the most activity and spread on Thursday.  However its location south of the Yukon River is in a series of wetlands that should limit extensive future growth and its distance from structures makes it a lower priority for firefighting efforts.  The five fires north of the river are now moving away from the village of Nulato after an outstanding firefighting effort earlier in the week.  Local crews, smokejumpers and the Midnight Sun Hot-shots employed burn-out operations to protect the village from an advancing flame front.  Firefighters on Friday will continue to improve structure protection in Nulato and on buildings along the river towards Last Chance.

Ruby Fires:  Firefighters will try to take advantage of higher humidity, lower temperatures and decreasing wind speeds to do mop up work on the Ruby Slough (#423) fire.  This is the closest fire to the village of Ruby and getting it buttoned up would significantly reduce threats to the village.  The Dome Creek (#478) and Bruno Creek (#479) have merged, these fires lie on the Tanana Fire Management Zone but are being managed from Galena.

Diane Hutton’s Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team is planning to assume command of the fires around Ruby and Nulato on Saturday morning.  This Team includes specialists in fire behavior and long-term fire spread projections.

Weather:  Friday will be cloudy with temperatures between 64 and 76 degrees, humidity from 26 to 44% and light winds from the west at 6 to 10 mph.  This weather will benefit firefighting efforts and the longer range forecast calls for continuing cooler and more humid weather into the weekend with a chance of precipitation on Saturday.

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Categories: Active Wildland Fire

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