Galena Zone Fires update, July 7

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

What: Galena Zone Fires
Cause: Lightning
Location: A series of fires are located on both sides of the Yukon River within the Galena Fire Management Zone and the western end of the Tanana Zone, stretching over 150 river miles from east to west. The major firefighting efforts at this time are concentrated on 3 fires on the south side of the Yukon River near the village of Ruby and on 1 fire near the village of Nulato.

Fire Names: The following fires are now being reported in the daily Incident Status Summary (ICS-209) as “Middle Yukon Fires” Nulato #458 (32642 acres), Ruby Slough #423 (49 acres), Bruno Creek #479 (13371 acres), and Big Creek Two #533 (67222 acres).

The Eldorado #576, Kaiyuh #351, and Sulatna #429 fires are in a monitoring status.

Size: Approximately 113,000 acres.

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Nulato Fires: The fire continued to move to the west along South Fork Creek and to the northeast of the community of Nulato. Some torching was observed. Local crews utilized their chainsaw training by enhancing structure protection work and continuing mop up and suppression efforts. Community and structure protection work is completed in Nulato and Koyukuk and will be left in place for contingency actions. Hutton’s Incident Management Team took advantage of Monday’s weather to send a boat downriver from Last Chance to Nine Mile making sure all structure protection efforts were in place and functional. The team is transitioning firefighter resources to other fires in the Galena Zone. One crew will be retained in the Nulato area.

Ruby Fires: Even though the conditions in the Ruby area were cloudy and smoky, the Big Creek Two Fire grew to the west and southeast and is very near Smith Slough. Crews were grounded by the weather at the Smith Slough, FWS Admin, and Atchley Cabins but continued structure protection. Bruno Fire experienced limited growth on the northwest corner but was exhibiting active fire behavior including group torching and active ground fire. The White Mountain crew was left on the Ruby Slough Fire yesterday to continue suppression and mop up operations and has secured line about 300 feet in from the fire’s edge. Based on long term analysis and local knowledge, the Ruby Slough Fire has been the top priority for full suppression because of the high probability the fire would reach the town of Ruby. The public is urged to limit travel on Poorman Road, which is experiencing active fire, to minimize conflicts with the firefighting forces.

Other Galena Zone Fires: The Galena Zone BLM personnel are closely monitoring other fires in the zone. Over 884,000 acres have burned in 2015, compared to 785,000 acres in 2005, and accounting for 34% of all burned acres in Alaska so far this year. Structure protection plans are in place for any fires that threaten private property.

There is a Notice to Airmen in effect for a 25 mile radius around the village of Ruby. For other areas, please see and avoid air traffic around fires.

Weather: Numerous rain showers are expected in the fire areas for the remainder of the day. There is a possibility of wetting rain overnight and tomorrow as a weak weather front moves through the area. The rain is a welcome relief but will probably not significantly affect fire behavior.

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

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