July 10, 2015
Contact: Public Information Officer: Peri Suenram
What: Galena Zone Fires
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 (40141 acres), Ruby Slough #423 (49 acres), Bruno Creek #479 (13480 acres), and Big Creek Two #533 (296713 acres). The Eldorado #576, Kaiyuh #351, and Sulatna #429 fires are in a monitoring status.
Size: Approximately 350,000 acres.
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Nulato Fires: Community and structure protection work is completed in Nulato and Koyukuk and will be left in place for contingency actions. The Nulato 1 crew will be monitoring the fire and is mopping up and suppressing hot spots. There is a public meeting scheduled for Monday at noon at the school.
Ruby Fires: The Ruby firefighting crew is being moved into the Ruby Slough fire area to continue mopping up the fire. 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 could reach the town of Ruby. Smoke jumpers were flown out of Quinn Cabin after completing structure protection. The Big Creek Two fire grew nearly 13,000 acres on Thursday. Smokejumpers at the FWS Admin and Atchley Cabins are attempting to burnout around the cabins, weather permitting. While not growing significantly in acreage, the Bruno Fire continues to exhibit active fire behavior including group torching and backing. Firefighters continue to patrol Poorman Road to suppress flareups in the area. Structure assessment and protection activities are continuing along the Yukon and Nowitna River banks. 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: Alaska continues to be the focal point for fire activity where large fires have burned over 3.5 million acres. Current forecasts are calling for continued warm and dry conditions in Alaska for the next two weeks, making it possible to see the most acres burned since 2004. The Galena Zone BLM personnel are closely monitoring fires in the zone. 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: Isolated thunderstorms will continue to be a possibility. The forecasted warmer weather and lower humidity is anticipated to remain over the area contributing to active fire behavior and growth. An air quality monitoring station is installed in Galena and recorded average readings as high as 162 parts per million (ppm) on Wednesday. Readings for Thursday showed an average of 3 ppm . Generally, there are no health concerns relating to air quality when parts per million are less than 80 when averaged over one hour.