Galena Zone Fires
Contact: Public Information Officer: Peri Suenram
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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 Two #533 and Eldorado #576.
Size: Approximately 100,000 acres.
Nulato Fires: Fire fighting efforts in the Nulato area were focused on continuing mop up near the river in old town on Wednesday. Heavy conifers and hardwoods are still holding some heat even though Wednesday brought higher humidities and cooler temperatures. Fire personnel continue to monitor the northeast corner of the Nulato Fire. The crews in Koyukuk finished securing the village cemetery on Koyukuk Mountain and will remain in place until fire danger moderates. The Kaiyuh Fire, located south of the Yukon River and southwest of Nulato, remains a limited threat to Nulato due to the amount of water between it and the village. Today will be a good day to continue mop up operations because of the cooler weather and possible showers in the Nulato area.
Ruby Fires: The school in Ruby made showering, camping, and cooking facilities available for the approximately 65 firefighters working on area fires. The accommodations provided much needed relief for the Lolo and Pennsylvania hand crews who have been camping at the airport and eating MRE’s (meals ready to eat) for the last week. The Bruno Creek Fire moved along its southwest flank and grew slightly on the east side of Poor Mans Road as it continued to wrap around Boston Dome. Fire fighters noted moderating fire behavior due to increased humidities and cooler temperatures. A mission to set smokejumpers into a remote cabin near Deer Creek, along the south bank of the Yukon River, was successful on Wednesday. The Big Creek Fire exhibited slight growth on its west side. The public is urged to limit travel on Poorman Road to minimize conflicts with the firefighting forces.
Other Alaska Fires: Alaska Fire Service personnel have estimated 2.2 million acres have burned in Alaska so far in 2015.
There is a Notice to Airmen in effect for a 25 mile radius around the village of Ruby.
Weather: Humidity will be in the 48 to 57% range today. Fire behavior analysts have found that 39% and lower is the zone which supports large fire growth, so fire behavior may be muted on Thursday. Isolated thunderstorms will continue to be a possibility. Conditions will be cloudy with a chance for showers and temperatures will be in the 55-62 degree range. Saturday and Sunday look to be significantly warmer and drier and will create the most challenging conditions for firefighters this week.