June 29, 2015
Contact: Public Information Officer: Bob MacGregor
Phone: 907-987-9838 *Note New Phone*
What: Galena Zone Fires
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 #458, Kaiyuh #351, Ruby Slough #423, Sulatna #429, Bruno Creek #479, Big Creek #533 and Eldorado #576.
Size: Approximately 95,000 acres.
Nulato Fires: The fires in the Nulato area remained quiet on Sunday due to smoke shading the fuels and a lack of wind to move the fires. These benign conditions allowed firefighters in Koyukuk, including the Boise Hot-shots, the Pennsylvania #1 crew and the Koyukuk crew, to test pumps and continue running hose lines throughout the village as a contingency if the fire makes a move toward town. These crews have done excellent work using local water sources to implement a protection strategy for the village. Firefighters in Nulato continued to mop up hot spots around the village. The fire front remains approximately 8 miles to the southwest of Koyukuk. The Kaiyuh (#351) had limited growth and is still contained south of the Yukon River and within a large wetland complex. Analysts feel there is a very low probability that the Kaiyuh Fire will cross the Yukon River.
Ruby Fires: Smoke also dampened fire behavior on the fires around Ruby. The thick air severely restricted aerial operations as visibility decreased. Fire managers took advantage of some clearing in the late afternoon to shift crews into Ruby. An important objective for today will be to improve communications in the area by setting up a new radio repeater near the village. The Bruno Creek and Dome Fires have merged and will now be known as the Bruno Creek Fire (#479). The cabin at 14 Mile on the Poorman Road, which was the objective of intense firefighting efforts on Saturday night, was observed to be intact. The public is urged to limit travel on Poorman Road to minimize conflicts with the firefighting forces. Smoke is also constraining the ability of Long-term Fire Analysts working with Hutton’s Team to accurately map hot-spots and make predictions on the future paths of the fires.
Other Galena Zone Fires: Precipitation in other parts of Alaska has freed up resources and the Galena Zone is looking at the most judicious way to deploy them on fires in the area that have previously been unstaffed.
Weather: Isolated thunderstorms will continue to be a possibility on Monday. Conditions will be mostly sunny but smoky with limited visibility. Temperatures in the 70’s and humidity in the upper 30’s to low 40’s will not support large fire growth today.