Tanana Area Fires Update; July 23

Tanana Area Fires Update

Tanana Area Fire Facts at a Glance

TOTAL ACRES: 488,860
Spicer Creek (4 mi. N Tanana) ~ 178,395acres
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: 357, including various support/logistics personnel; Five Type 1 (Hotshot) and six 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, crews completed the construction line between Bear Creek and Tanana with chain saws. The hose lay from Yukon River north two miles to the division line will serve the Bear Creek and Tanana lines with water. There were very few hot spots on the Tanana containment line today. Two spike camps along the Tanana to Bear Creek containment line are in place for the seven 20-person crews. Crews continued suppression efforts on one of three hot spots over containment lines that were still active near Bear Creek. Three new helispots were located yesterday to be used for emergencies or for equipment/supplies if needed.

Also, a recon flight showed several smokes inside the containment line along Bear Creek toward the Yukon River. These smokes will be investigated today during helicopter recons. Mop up and rehab continued in the Mission and Site Road areas. New structures along the upper Yukon River were inventoried to be included in a fire protection plan for the future.

Today, a new group is being established to the east along the edge of Bear Creek. This group will look for smoke activity and heat, which should be more evident as the weather warms, winds shift out of the north, and humidity drops. Water pumps will be flown in and hose lays placed to support suppression. Crews along the newly constructed Bear Creek line will strengthen the line by making it wider, and continue to lay hose lines. Also, crews will continue to mop up on the three the spot fires and continue to look for new smoke and heat.

Rehabilitation efforts will continue, using heavy equipment on dozer fire lines and safety zones in the Site Road/Mission Creek area. Patrols and mop up 100 feet into the black will continue along Site Road. The Tanana crew will move to the Site/Mission group to assist with ongoing containment line rehab. Patrols along the lower Yukon River will continue to look for increased smoke and fire activity and monitor structures along the river. In addition, new structures will be inventoried along the upper Yukon River for future wildfire protection.

A reconnaissance flight took place this morning with an infrared camera to pinpoint locations of heat along the line.

Today’s forecast is partly sunny (45-55%). Maximum temperature will be around 73, with minimum humidity around 34%. Winds are forecasted out of the north today from 5 to 13 mph. Tonight will be partly cloudy (30-40%). Minimum temperature will be around 51 degrees, and humidity between 88-94%. Northwest winds will be 5-9 mph. Friday forecast is sunny (15-25%) with maximum temp around 73 degrees and minimum humidity 48%. Winds are expected to become west at 5-14 mph.

Special Announcements: The next public meeting will be held Friday, July 24th at noon at the Tanana Community Hall to provide updated fire information. The Air Quality Index reported “Good” as of July 22nd. 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 ManleyAreaFires@gmail.com . To obtain fire information regarding other fires in Alaska, contact the Alaska Joint Information Center at 907-356-5511 or https://akfireinfo.com/.

-End-

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