FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2015: 1100 hours
Tok Area Fires Update for July 11, 2015
(Tok, AK) – Command of The Long Lake Fire has transitioned to Clinton Northway, incident commander of a local Type 3 team. During the heat of the day a new fire west of the southern perimeter was discovered. A heavy helicopter was used to extinguish the spot. Tetlin Hills Fire crews continue to expand perimeter on that fire taking advantage of the cool, wet weather. The Chisana Fire is reported at 38,205 acres, is in monitor status and being observed for activity and growth.
Tetlin Hills Fire — The Incident Command Post for The Tetlin Hills Fire is moving today from the Tok Area Forestry Office to the Tok Mushers Lodge at mile 1312.7 on the Alaska Highway east of Tok. The Tetlin Hills Fire perimeter is 26%, up from 23% yesterday. The cooler, wetter weather is allowing crews and heavy equipment to do direct attack on the south and west flanks of the fire. Helicopters are working with buckets to hold a few spot fires that crossed the northern fire line during the last period of active fire behavior. The fire has 299 personnel including 11 firefighting crews, support from two light and one medium helicopter and five bulldozers. The rate at which containment can be achieved is being hindered by the extremely wet, slippery, steep and rocky terrain that firefighters are contending with on the fire line. Work today will include continuing to build dozer line on the southwest corner of the fire toward the north. More assessment will be made on the spots north of the fireline. Direct attack on those spots is planned if weather and conditions allow. The Tetlin Hills fire started with a lightning strike on June 20, 2015. The fire is located eight miles from the town of Tok, Alaska, three miles from the Tok Cutoff Highway and 13 miles from the village of Tetlin.
Long Lake Fire — More resources arrived to the Long Lake Fire yesterday to assist with the containment efforts. The Type 3 team will be based out of the village of Northway to increase logistical efficiency. Crews took advantage of the cooler weather and continued to strengthen line on the northern perimeter. There are approximately 39 homes and structures in the village that are currently being assessed for protection if fire activity increases. Firefighters utilized a bulldozer equipped with a roller chopper yesterday to build direct line on the fire’s edge. This was the first time that a roller chopper has been used in direct fire suppression efforts in Alaska. Pumps and sprinklers have been installed to protect cabins in and around the fire’s perimeter that could be threatened by fire activity. The number of fire personnel on the Long Lake Fire has increased to 86.