Tanana Area Fires Update with map; July 22

Tanana Area Fires Update: July 22

Tanana Area Fire Facts at a Glance

TOTAL ACRES: 488,547
Spicer Creek (4 mi. N Tanana) ~ 178,082acres
Harper Bend (6 mi. SE Tanana) ~ 43,270 acres
Moose Point (~55 mi. W Tanana) ~ 26,414 acres
Kokrine (~50 mi. W Tanana) ~ 4,811 acres
Bering Creek (37 mi. SW Tanana) ~ 235,970 acres
Note: Hay Slough Fire information available from Echeverria’s IMT – below

Date Started: 06/19/2015
Percent Containment: 4%
Personnel: 380, including various support/logistics personnel; Five Type 1 (Hotshot) and seven Type 2 crews.
Aircraft: One Type 2 helicopter and one Type 3 helicopter
Equipment: 8 boats, 1 dozer, 1 excavator, 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, Tozitna Limited

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). The Spicer Creek Fire, which threatens the village of Tanana, Alaska, is the primary focus. The Hay Slough and Baker fires are managed by Annamaria Echeverria’s IMT. The Hay Slough Fire continues to be jointly managed by Grant’s and Echeverria’s teams.

Well-over 100 miles of the Yukon and Tanana rivers are assigned to Eastern Area IMT. On the Yukon River, responsibility for fire response and structure protection stretches over 115 miles from the mouth of the Nowitna River near Moose Point upstream to Stevens Creek. On the Tanana River, responsibility extends from the Yukon upstream to the mouth of the Cosna River; a distance of over 35 miles.

Yesterday, construction of fireline in heavy brush and laying waterhose to Bear Creek continued with another one mile gain. Hose lays from the Yukon River to drop point 70 were tested and operational. Crews completed the Tanana line construction west toward the division break and continued strengthening the line and checking for hot spots. Two spike camps along the Tanana to Bear Creek containment line are in place for the six 20- person crews. One of the three spot fires was still active near Bear Creek and firefighters continued suppression action.

Mop up continued along Site Road. Crews completed pulling hoses on the dozer line between Site Road and Mission Creek and moved them to the Tanana and Bear Creek division break. The rehab crew began rehabilitation on the primary dozer line. Structures along the rivers have hazard fuels reduced around them and are being inventoried for the structure protection plan.

Operations flew on a reconnaissance flight to check all five fires and did not find any new concerns threatening the containment lines or structures within the protection area. Injuries to firefighters the last few days included bee stings, a laceration, dehydration and dislocated shoulder. Medical attention was received in Tanana or Fairbanks.

Today, hand crews will continue their efforts to strengthen the containment line and lay hose from Site Road to Bear Creek. Crews at Bear Creek will continue building line through the thick brush east from Bear Creek toward the Tanana group. Crews will continue to mop up on the three the spot fires. Rehabilitation will continue with heavy equipment on dozer fire lines and safety zones in the Mission Creek area. Patrols and mop up will continue along Site Road.

Patrols along the Yukon River will continue to maintain and monitor structure protection measures.

Today’s forecast is mostly sunny (30-40%). Maximum temperature between 70-76, minimum humidity of 41%. East winds are forecasted between 7 and 10 mph. Tonight will be partly cloudy (45-55%). Isolated showers and thundershowers in the evening. Minimum temperature around 51 degrees, and humidity between 85-93%. Northeast winds will be 7-10 mph. Gusty and erratic winds expected near thunderstorms in the evening. Thursday will be mostly sunny (30-40%) with maximum temp between 71-78 degrees and minimum humidity 39%. Northeast winds will be 5-9 mph.

Special Announcements: The next public meeting will be held today at noon at the Tanana Community Hall to provide updated fire information. Community members who evacuated will be returning to Tanana. The Air Quality Index reported “Good” as of July 21th. Smoke and air quality indices and alerts can be found on the Air Quality Division website at: http://co.fairbanks.ak.us/airquality/ and Alaska DEC Division of Air Quality at: http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Advisories/Index. The public is advised to avoid traveling Site Road because of the danger of falling trees and heavy equipment.

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

-End-

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