Tanana Area Fires update, June 27

Saturday, 06/27/2015, 10:00a.m.

Facts at a Glance
Size: Spicer Creek ~ 24,000 acres;
Tozitna ~37,000 acres
Moose Point ~5,900 acres Kochrine ~1,600 acres;
Hay Slough ~ 24,000 acres
Bering Creek ~20,700 acres
Harper Bend ~5,100 acres;
Blind River ~19,500 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 one Type 2 and one Type 3 helicopter in Fairbanks (when smoke conditions improve)
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, and the related spot fire (just to the east of the Tozitna fire) is approximately five miles north of the nearest inhabited structure along the Tanana-Allakaket winter trail (Site Road.) 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 west/southwest, downstream of Tanana. The Bering Creek is 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.

Dense smoke still covers much of the fire areas which continues to stall air operations, yet reduces fire behavior and spread. Friday, Operations Section Chief Sam Gibbons said crews continued “a lot of good work improving structure protection and the ‘water show’ around the community of Tanana and outlying homes/structures.” Fuel breaks, dozer lines, and hose-lay are complete around the north side of the village, and improvements are almost complete around most of the Mission Hill area. Saturday, crews will continue structure protection efforts and will work to strengthen fuel break and contingency lines around Mission Hill and structures north along the Tanana-Allakaket winter trail.

Near Moose Point and Kochrine fires, firefighters continued improving structure protection and microwave tower point protection efforts for the Kochrine Bible Camp and a nearby cabin, and thus far efforts are holding.

Because the smoke is not likely to lift from the area soon, priority crews and supplies will be boated or barged in from Manley Hot Springs to Tanana on Saturday. As crews complete structure protection measures around the community of Tanana, fire managers are planning point-protection efforts for more out-lying structures up and down the Yukon River, as well as how best to engage the spot fire north of Tanana.

Special Announcements: A public meeting will be held Monday, June 29, 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, Tanana school ICP, at 907-987-9835 or NorthIdahoTeamOne@gmail.com. Inciweb (http://inciweb.nwcg.gov) also provides fire information. From the Inciweb homepage, 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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