Tanana Area Fire update, June 30

Facts at a Glance
Size:
Spicer Creek (6 mi. NE Tanana) ~ 23,555 acres;
Tozitna (4 mi. NW Tanana) ~52,744 acres
Moose Point (~55 mi. W Tanana) ~8,403 acres Kochrine (~50 mi. W Tanana) ~4,811 acres;
Hay Slough (6 mi. SE Tanana) ~ 35,347 acres
Bering Creek (37 mi. SW Tanana) ~20,700 acres
Harper Bend (6 mi. SE Tanana) ~7,127 acres;
Blind River (20 mi. SW Tanana) ~37,742 acres
Date Started: 06/19/2015
Percent Containment: 0%
Personnel: Various support/logistics personnel; Four Type 2 – IA crews; two, Type 1- Interagency Hotshot Crews.
Aircraft: One, Type 2 helicopter and one Type 3 helicopter.
Equipment: 8 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.

Warming weather and increased winds will continue for the next few days, with the potential for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms. The effects of this trend became evident late last night as the Spicer Creek and Tozitna fires and the spot fire between them, designated as the Jackson fire, became active. The Tozitna fire moved easterly into the upper Bear Creek drainage, while the Jackson fire moved primarily south and east.

Today fire managers are considering tactics that might be necessary to hold the fires north of the Tanana community. The completed fuel breaks, dozer lines, and hose-lay around the north side of the village may be used should burnout operations become necessary. Residents should be vigilant in case an evacuation or moving to the identified safety zone becomes necessary.

Today crews will continue structure protection efforts around the historic mission and cemetery on Mission Hill and structures north along the Tanana-Allakaket winter trail.

Near Moose Point and Kochrine fires, firefighters will continue improving structure protection and microwave tower point protection efforts for the Kochrine Bible Camp and a nearby cabin.

Reconnaissance, structure assessment, and fuel reduction preparations around out-lying structures up and down the Yukon River and up the Tanana River will continue today. Spike camps up and down the river have been established and are supplied by boat in order to reduce long travel times and increase fire fighting efficiency. As Incident Commander, Roger Staats, encouraged “… with over 100 miles of river to assess and provide structure point-protection, we need to do our best to be flexible, safe, and efficient.”

Special Announcements: A public meeting will be held Wednesday, July 1, at noon at the Tanana Community Hall to provide fire information updates. A voluntary evacuation notice remains in effect for the village of Tanana. Smoke impacts (with approximately ¾ mile visibility Tuesday) are likely in the unhealthy to hazardous air quality range.

For more info: Please contact Information Officers, Jennifer Costich or Steve Till, 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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