Galena Zone Fire updates, July 4

Contact: Public Information Officer: Peri Suenram
Phone: 907-987-9838

 Galena Zone Fires

Contact Us: galenafires2015@gmail.com or http://inciweb.gov/incident/4327/

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Special Holiday Message: Enjoy the 4th of July – Happy Birthday America!

Cause: Lightning

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 101,000 acres.

Nulato Fires:

Firefighting efforts in the Nulato area were focused on continuing mop
up and extinguishing small areas of flare ups in the interior of the fire on Friday. Isolated hot spots are creating smoke in the area. Saturday will provide a good test for the fire perimeter as the warming trend begins. The Incident Management Team Division Supervisors in Koyukuk are training the local crews on chainsaw technique and safety. Alaska Public Radio broadcast a story entitled “How Computer Models Aid Firefighters”. Current fire modeling indicates reduced potential for spread over the next 14 days for the Nulato Fire due to suppression efforts on the east side of the fire where active fire spread was reduced by helicopter bucket drops.

Ruby Fires:

The Bruno Fire received about .1 inch of rain on Friday morning which was enough to subdue it yesterday. Because of the higher humidity’s, the Big Creek Two Fire is burning underneath Black Spruce which sets up potential for reburn in those areas. Neither the Bruno nor Big Creek Two fires have experienced any sun for the last two days which has significantly slowed fire growth Smokejumpers were transported to a cabin near the Smiths Slough where they are prepping for potential burnout operations to protect the structure. Structure assessments along the Yukon River between Ruby and the mouth of the Nowitna River are ongoing and will be prioritized based on long term analysis modeling. Crews in the Ruby area are working to secure Poorman Road and the community. 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 reported 627 fires so far in 2015, of which 275 are human caused.

There is a Notice to Airmen in effect for a 25 mile radius around the village of Ruby.

Weather: Humidity will drop to the 36-40% range today. Fire behavior analysts have found that 39% and lower is the zone which supports large fire growth, so fire behavior may pick up today. A weak ridge of high pressure is building, bringing east winds. Sunday and Monday look to be significantly warmer, drier and windier which will create challenging firefighting conditions.

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