Tanana Area Fires update; July 15

Tanana Area Fire Facts at a Glance

TOTAL ACRES: 468,483

Spicer Creek (4 mi. N Tanana) ~ 169,240 acres;
Harper Bend (6 mi. SE Tanana) ~42,967 acres
Moose Point (~55 mi. W Tanana) ~26,100 acres
Kokrine (~50 mi. W Tanana) ~4,811 acres;
Bering Creek (37 mi. SW Tanana) ~229,011 acres

NOTE: Hay Slough Fire information available from Greer’s Rocky Mountain Black IMT; see contact information below.

Date Started: 06/19/2015

Percent Containment: 0%
Personnel: 312, including various support/logistics personnel; Five Type 2 – Initial Attack crews; Three Type 1- Interagency Hotshot Crews
Aircraft: One Type 2 helicopter and one Type 3 helicopter
Equipment: 16 boats, 2 dozer, 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, City of Tanana, Tanana School District

Management responsibility for the Spicer Creek, Harper Bend, Moose Point, Kokrine, and Bering Creek fires is assigned to Jim Grant’s Eastern Area Incident Management Team (IMT). Major focus is the Spicer Creek Fire, which threatens the village of Tanana. The Hay Slough Fire is jointly managed by Grant’s IMT and Greer’s Rocky Mountain IMT Black.

Information regarding the Hay Slough and Baker fires is being managed by the Rocky Mountain IMT; their contact information is provided below.

Well-over 100 miles of the Yukon and Tanana rivers are assigned to the Eastern Area IMT. Firefighters assigned to the IMT have found approximately 50 structures, and are searching by air and water for presence of other structures on both rivers. On the Yukon River, the area of responsibility stretches almost 110 miles from Moose Point upstream to the mouth of Stevens Creek. On the Tanana River, IMT responsibility extends from where it flows into the Yukon upstream to the mouth of the Cosna River; a distance of over 35 miles.

Yesterday, assigned fires did not experience significant growth. Light rain showers provided an opportunity for firefighters to go direct on the Spicer Creek Fire. Three 20-person hand crews spent the day establishing containment lines toward Bear Creek. They anchored at Site Road at the terminus of Monday’s burnout, and began moving west, clearing fireline and laying fire hose for about 0.5 miles. Two-and-one-half crews completed clearing fire-weakened snags falling on the road from burnouts conducted Sunday and Monday. Firefighters are very concerned about the safety of the public, so we are asking for your help. Please avoid traveling Site Road for the next few days because of the danger of falling trees.

Today, crews will continue monitoring and evaluating structures on the rivers, and mopping up 50 feet in along Site Road and constructing firelines toward Bear Creek on the Spicer Creek Fire. This line construction is a high priority, and will continue to be a major focus for the next few days, given predicted favorable weather. It is estimated that this could take up to a week or more to complete, depending on weather, terrain, fuels, and, of course, fire behavior. Today’s forecast is mostly cloudy with scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms. Patchy fog is predicted for the morning, and areas of smoke throughout the day. High temperature will be in the mid-60s and relative humidity around 60%. Winds are forecast south at 5-6 mph. Gusty and erratic winds are expected near thunderstorms. Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with areas of smoke, and patchy fog. Temperature will be around 52, and humidity rising significantly to between 82-93%. Scattered rain showers are expected after midnight. Light winds are predicted: however, gusty and erratic winds are expected near thunderstorms. The forecast for Thursday and Friday is mostly cloudy with varying chances of rain each day. Low temperatures will be in the upper 40s, with highs in the 60s.

Special Announcements: The next Tanana public meeting will be held today (Wednesday, July 15) at noon at the Tanana Community Hall to provide updated fire information to Tanana residents and other interested parties. 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 still in the unhealthy to hazardous air quality range.

For more info: Please contact Information Officers, Bill Paxton or Kristen Miller, Tanana school ICP, at907-987-9835 or TananaAreaFires2015@gmail.com.
Inciweb (http://inciweb.nwcg.gov) also provides fire information. From the Inciweb homepage, select “Spicer Creek” fires from the drop down list at the top right of the page. To obtain fire information regarding the Hay Slough fire, contact Brett Haberstick at 907-672-3202 or ManleyAreaFires@gmail.com  To obtain fire information regarding other fires in Alaska, contact the Alaska Joint Information Center at 907-356-5511.

-End-

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