Tanana Area fires update, June 26

Facts at a Glance
Size:  Spicer Creek   ~ 24,000 acres;Tozitna  ~33,500 acres

Moose Point  ~5,900 acres Kochrine  ~1,600 acres;

Hay Slough  ~ 24,000 acres

Bering Creek  ~20,300 acres

Harper Bend  ~4,300 acres;

Blind River ~19,000 acres

Date Started:  06/19/2015 Percent Containment:  0%
Personnel: Various support/logistics personnel; Two, Type 2 – IA crews; One, Type 1- Interagency Hotshot Crew; various support personnel; plus 3 more 20-person crews in Fairbanks, awaiting conditions for air transport to Tanana. Aircraft: One, Type 2 helicopter, plus shared air resources
Equipment: 6 boats, 3 dozers Cause: Lightning
Cooperating Agencies:      Alaska Fire Service, Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Division of Forestry, Tanana Village Council, Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC), Doyon, Tanana Volunteer Fire Department

The Spicer Creek, Tozitna, Hay Slough, Moose Point, Kochrine, Blind River, Bering Creek, and Harper Bend fires are all burning on the AFS- Tanana Fire Management Zone.  Most of those started as a result of lightning storms on Friday, June 19th . Roger Staats’ North Idaho Incident Management Team (IMT) began managing these fires at 06:00a.m. Monday, June 22.  An Incident Command Post is located at the Tanana school.

Spicer Creek fire is burning approximately seven miles northeast of Tanana, Alaska. The Tozitna fire is burning approximately four miles northwest of Tanana. The Hay Slough and Harper Bend fires are burning approximately six miles southeast of Tanana. Moose Point and Kochrine fires are burning approximately fifty miles downstream of Tanana to the west/southwest. Bering Creek and Chitanana fires merged on June 23rd and will be referred to as the Bering Creek fire; they are burning approximately thirty-seven miles southwest of Tanana, south of the Yukon River. The Blind River fire is about twenty miles southwest of Tanana and is also south of the Yukon River.

Thursday, dense smoke continues to cover Tanana, which limited visibility to less than ½ mile for much of the day and impeded air operations, including delivery of additional crews and supplies awaiting transport to Tanana from Fairbanks.  However, smoke also shaded area fires, which helped limit heat build-up and fire spread; however, a spot fire near the Spicer fire did continue to back downhill towards the southwest.  That spot fire is approximately five miles north of the nearest inhabited structure.  Both the community of Tanana and firefighting crews continued to strengthen fuel breaks, dozer lines, and structure point-protection. So far, fuel breaks have been completed around Tanana village, dozer line has been completed from Airport road (on the west) east to the Tanana-Allakaket winter trail (Site Road), and a fuel break has been roughed in around Mission Hill, from the “cross” south to the river.

Friday, crews will continue structure protection efforts and will work to strengthen fuel break and contingency lines around Mission Hill and up the Tanana-Allakaket winter trail.

Near Moose Point and Kochrine fires, firefighters continued improving structure protection and microwave tower point protection efforts, including hose-lay and sprinklers needed for the Kochrine Bible Camp and a nearby cabin. Visibility near Moose Point Friday morning was approximately 100 feet.

Special Announcements: A public meeting will be held TODAY, Friday, June 26, at noon at the Tanana Community Hall to provide fire information updates. A voluntary evacuation notice remains in effect for the village of Tanana. Dense smoke (sometimes ¼- ½ mile visibility) continues in the area, which equates to “Hazardous” air quality.

For more info:  Please contact Information Officer, Jennifer Costich at 907-987-9835, in the Tanana school ICP or NorthIdahoTeamOne@gmail.com. You can also look on Inciweb (http://inciweb.nwcg.gov) to look at maps of the fires.  At the Inciweb site, select “Spicer Creek” or “Tozitna” fires from the drop down list at the top right of the page.  To obtain fire information regarding other fires in Alaska, contact the Alaska Joint Information Center at 907-356-5511.

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