Tanana Area Fire update, July 4

Facts at a Glance

TOTAL ACRES: 235,783

Spicer Creek (6 mi. NE Tanana) ~ 23,555 acres; Tozitna (4 mi. NW Tanana) ~68,465 acres

Moose Point (~55 mi. W Tanana) ~21,132 acres Kokrine (~50 mi. W Tanana) ~4,811 acres

Hay Slough (6 mi. SE Tanana) ~ 35,347 acres  Bering Creek (37 mi. SW Tanana) ~37,482 acres

Harper Bend (6 mi. SE Tanana) ~7,249 acres  Blind River (20 mi. SW Tanana) ~37,742 acres

Date Started: 06/19/2015  Percent Containment: 0%

Personnel: 322, including various support/ logistics personnel; Type 2-IA Crews-3;  Type 1 Interagency Hotshot Cres-4;
Aircraft: Type 2 helicopter-1; Type 3 helicopter-1.
Equipment: 16 boats, 3 dozers, 3 watertenders

Cause: Lightning
Cooperating Agencies: Alaska Fire Service, Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Division of Forestry, Tanana Tribal Council, Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC), Doyon, Tanana Volunteer Fire Department

The Spicer Creek, Tozitna, Hay Slough, Harper Bend, Moose Point, Kokrine, Blind River, and Bering Creek fires are all burning on the AFS- Tanana Fire Management Zone. Roger Staats’ North Idaho Incident Management Team (IMT) began managing these fires June 22 and has an Incident Command Post (ICP) located at the Tanana school.

Friday most of the fires showed low to moderate growth due to cloudy weather and light, variable winds. The northeast portion of the Hay Slough fire continued to be active, and reports stated the fire was moving east of Bailey Creek in the Boulder Creek drainage. Construction and mining personnel working in that area were advised to use extreme caution. The Harper Bend fire continued backing to the south, and private landowners in that area were advised to leave the area due to lack of safe escape routes should the fire approach the Chitanana River (Redlands) area.

Crews working around Tanana on the Tozitna and Spicer Creek fires continued using a combination of dozer and hand line (east and west of the Site Road) to try to check southerly spread towards Tanana and outlying structures along the Site Road. Fire managers continued to look for opportunities to implement small burn out operations to aid that effort. Structure assessments and fuel reduction work around structures continued along the Yukon River, between Tanana and the Moose Point fire.

As of Saturday morning, the Tozitna fire is still approximately 2½ miles north and 1¼ miles west of the closest inhabited structure along the Site Road. Two new hotshot crews arrived late Friday, and they will be integrated into the operation. Firefighters will be checking their existing hose lays, pump systems, and fire breaks around the Tanana community as easterly winds are forecast for today. Incident Commander Roger Staats noted, “We haven’t seen an east wind on these fires yet, so we need to be vigilant.” Operations will also continue with spiked out crews up the Tanana River (near Harper Bend) and down the Yukon River, between Tanana and the Moose Point fire, with structure assessments and fuel reduction efforts.

Special Announcements: A public meeting will be held Tuesday, July 7, 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 effect for the Tanana area, with air quality 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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