Granite – La Grande – Blair – Fires Update
Sunday, June 28, 2015 9 PM
Fire Information Office – 907-356-5511 — Open: 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Started: June 27
La Grande Fire
Started: June 19
Cause: Under Investigation
Equipment: Nodwell, 2 helicopters
Started: June 20
Acres: 25, 864
Equipment: 3 jet boats
All fires listed are being managed by an Alaska Type 3 Management Team.
La Grande Fire:
The La Grande fire is located 12 miles southwest of Delta Junction, which is south of the confluence of the Delta River with the Tanana River. The La Grande fire is on military lands managed by Fort Greeley Army installation. There is potential for the fire to cross to State land to the north given the right wind conditions and fuels. A Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) assumed command on June 22. On June 27, the fire received nearly a 1/4″ inch of precipitation which has moderated the fire behavior.
Objectives are to provide structure protection to 2 cabins on State land, protect the community of Whitestone, protect high value timber, and limit resource damage (fisheries, cultural) done by dozers.
Dozer line is being constructed a half mile south of the State Forestry land boundary and the military range to contain possible fire spread. This line will extend nearly 4 miles to the 2013 Mississippi fire scar. Historically, south winds have driven fires northwest of Delta Junction. The 2013, 2010 and other fire scars in the area bear this out. The dozers will follow an old fuel break. It is 150 feet wide, with trees were removed when it was built. The new dozer line will be dozer width only, scraping to mineral soil within the fuel break. Safety zones are being constructed and a hose lay placed along the dozer line. Military hazards in and around the jurisdictional boundary is dictating location of the dozer line. A spot fire was detected within the military impact area. Fire personnel cannot enter the impact area. This spot will be monitored by air.
The fire is 39 miles southeast of Fairbanks. The fire started on State Forestry lands, moving on to military lands. Fire activity has moderated with recent rains. The primary concern is structures near the fire area. Structure protection actions have been taken around 19 structures. Personnel are scouting line for a possible indirect burnout operation a distance behind, not next to cabins. Two Fire Use Crews are working the fire. Three jet boats are being used to ferry personnel and equipment to this fire.
Objectives are to provide cabin protection on Mile 5 Clear Creek (Tanana River West Staking Area). Because of the fire size, monitor fire progression with daily flights as visibility allows.
In addition, a 7 acre fire called Granite is in the east Donnelly training area. Retardant drops and smokejumpers were first on the fire. The Bitterroot Hotshot 20 person crew has the fire 50% contained, with a goal of 100% mop up. Mop up requirements include digging down through the tundra and duff to mineral soil, feeling for heat in the vegetation and soil. Personnel are hiking into the fire a mile from the nearest road. Completion of mop up will take a few more days.
Extended weather forecast is for drying to continue for the next few days increasing the fire behavior each day at least through mid-week. Creeping and smoldering will be on the increase.