Tanana Area Fire update, July 1

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.

Tanana Area Fires: 

Spicer Creek, Tozitna, Jackson, Hay Slough, Moose Point, Kokrine, Blind River, Bering Creek, Harper Bend

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 Kokrine (~50 mi. W Tanana) ~4,811 acres;
Hay Slough (6 mi. SE Tanana) ~ 35,347 acres
Bering Creek (37 mi. SW Tanana) ~25,922 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, Jackson (formerly the spot fire east of the Tozitna), Hay Slough, Harper Bend, Moose Point, Kokrine, Blind River, and Bering Creek 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 June 22, from an Incident Command Post located at Tanana school.

Tuesday, high humidity and dense smoke near the Tozitna, Jackson, and Spicer Creek fires helped dampen fire activity, although the Jackson fire continued backing downhill to the south and southwest and the Tozitna fire continued moving to the east and north. At present, the Jackson fire is located approximately three miles north of the closest inhabited structure along the Site Road. Firefighters around the village of Tanana and the Mission Hill area (east of Tanana) continued to improve existing fuel breaks, dozer lines, and hose-lay.

Fire intensity and spread on the Hay Slough and Harper Bend fires was also reduced somewhat Tuesday; however, fires downstream of Tanana (Blind River, Bering Creek, and Moose Point, as well as fires west of the Tanana Fire Management Zone) did make short runs and develop columns late in the day.

Crews spiked along the Yukon (both upstream and downstream of Tanana), as well as up the Tanana River near Harper Bend made great progress performing structure assessments and fuel reduction efforts around known structures. Local knowledge has been helpful in identifying all camp and structure locations, but additional public information about such structures is also welcome.

Although scattered thunderstorms are still forecast for the Tanana area, a warming and drying trend is expected through the week, and northerly winds are predicted to move through the local area late Wednesday afternoon.

Today Operations personnel are monitoring the fire’s progress closely, as fire movement to the south from either the Tozitna or Jackson fires and/or changing wind conditions could necessitate burnout operations to protect structures. Residents should remain vigilant in case changing fire conditions necessitate an evacuation or moving to the identified safety zone. Incident Commander Roger Staats urged, “We need to be prepared for anything at any time.”

Wednesday, crews will continue structure protection efforts around the historic mission and cemetery on Mission Hill and fuel breaks north along the Tanana-Allakaket winter trail. Operations will continue up and down the Yukon River, between Tanana and the Moose Point fire, with structure assessments and fuel reduction efforts around structures.

Special Announcements: A public meeting will be held TODAY, 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. A dense smoke advisory remains in effects for the Tanana area, with air quality in the unhealthy to hazardous air quality range.

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