Galena Zone Fires update, June 27

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 5 fires on the south side of the Yukon River below the village of Ruby and on another 2 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 70,000 acres.

Nulato Fires: Fire activity was quiet on Friday due to improved weather conditions. Residents of Nulato attended a public meeting on Friday at the local church where Division Supervisor Trainee Chad Tusk outlined the current situation and answered questions from the community. Firefighters continued to mop-up hot-spots and improve defensible space around New Town and Old Town in Nulato. Fire personnel along the Yukon River continued to assess structures between the fire front and Last Chance. In Koyukuk firefighters are working to complete a fuel break and hose lay along the town perimeter. There will be a funeral and accompanying potlatch in Koyukuk on Saturday that will increase traffic into town. The Nulato (#458), Nulato River (#487), Nulato River 2 (#489), Nulato River 3 (#492) and South Fork (#560) fires have all burned together and merged into one fire. The Kaiyuh (#351) fire continued to be active but its location south of the Yukon River and in a large wetland complex should limit its future growth.

Ruby Fires: The most active fire in the area was Big Creek (#533), which pushed northeasterly toward Deer Creek on a 15 mile wide flaming front. This fire is now estimated to be 35,000 acres and is lies in the Tanana Fire Management Zone but is being managed from Galena. Firefighters are assessing what structures and improvements lay ahead of the fire and making decisions on the best way to protect them. The Midnight Sun Hot-shot crew was able to mop-up a distance of 10 to 15 feet into the interior the Ruby Slough (#423) fire, they will be working the last shift of their 14 day detail and will go on a well-deserved 2 day rest. This crew has done excellent work during the recent outbreak of fires in the Galena area including protecting both the villages of Ruby and Nulato. Six smokejumpers worked on reducing heat on the Sulatna (#429) fire.

Diane Hutton’s Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team assumed command of the fires around Ruby and Nulato on Saturday morning after receiving a delegation of authority from the major landowning agencies in the area.

Weather: A deep trough of low pressure has settled over the fire area bringing cooler and wetter air to the region. Temperatures on Saturday will be in the 60’s with humidity between 34 and 49 percent, these weather conditions will be favorable to firefighting efforts.

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Categories: Active Wildland Fire

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