Tanana Area Fires update, July 25

Saturday, 07/25/2015, 9:00a.m.

TOTAL ACRES: 489,289
Spicer Creek (4 mi. N Tanana) ~ 178,395 acres;
Harper Bend (6 mi. SE Tanana) ~43,270 acres
Moose Point (~55 mi. W Tanana) ~26,600 acres
Kokrine (~50 mi. W Tanana) ~4,811 acres;
Bering Creek (37 mi. SW Tanana) ~236,213 acres

NOTE: Hay Slough Fire information available from Echeverria’s IMT – below.

Date Started: 06/19/2015

Cause: Lightning

Percent Containment: 4%

Personnel: 322, including various support/logistics personnel; Four Type 1 (Hotshot) and
six Type 2 crews and 1 Type 3 Tanana crew.

Aircraft: One Type 2 helicopter and one Type 3 helicopter

Equipment: 8 boats, 1 watertender, 1 excavator, 1 dozer, a susv track vehicle, 2 dump trucks,
ATV’s and other misc. equipment.

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 evening fire activity picked up on the northern edge of the Spicer Fire. In response, seven
smoke jumpers were flown into the area near the structures to enhance protection measures. They were
later joined by 10 hot shot crew members and one paramedic. Together, they performed a successful
burnout operation around the structures late yesterday evening.

Personnel flew a reconnaissance flight yesterday on the fires targeting containment lines and structures
along the rivers. Fire is active within the interior of the fires, especially in the unburned pockets of
black spruce. The Palm Infrared camera detected hot spots primarily along the west side of Bear Creek
and along some of the containment lines.

A greater emphasis was placed mopping up hot spots on the west side of Bear Creek that were detected
by the infrared camera and from ground observation. Hot spots that were detected from the infrared
camera were also grubbed out along the Bear Creek and Tanana containment lines. The Bear Creek
containment line was further cleared and enhanced.

In the Site Road and Mission area, patrols, mop up and rehabilitation on the dozer and hand lines
continued. Several brush piles were removed from the area. Several water pumps were collected and
sent back to fire camp to become available in other locations if necessary. A log foot bridge with log
cribbing was constructed across Mission Creek to provide access and reduce erosion of the steep banks.

Boat patrols continued along the Yukon River, additional structures were inventoried and some of the
water pumps were collected to be returned to supply at camp for possible use in other areas.

Today, hot shot crews will continue to clear around structures on the north edge of the Spicer Creek fire.

More hot spots are anticipated with crowning and torching in unburned pockets of black spruce within the interior of the Tanana Area fires. Crews will be monitoring and mopping up hot spots along the west edge of Bear Creek, and along all containment lines, especially in the areas that showed high heat signatures from the infrared camera.

Patrols will continue along Site Road. Rehabilitation of dozer lines and removing brush piles will remain an emphasis in the Site/Mission area.

Another reconnaissance flight is planned for today over all of the structures and the primary areas of concern within all of the five fires, and along Bear Creek and the rivers.

Patrols and structure inventory will continue along the Yukon River.

The near stationary thermal trough will continue to be the focus for thunderstorms this weekend. A wetting rain is not expected with any showers or storms although a measurable rain is possible. Gusty erratic winds will be associated with any showers or thunderstorms. The forecast for today is mostly sunny (40-50%) then becoming mostly cloudy (65-75%). Expect areas of smoke throughout the day. Isolated rain showers in the morning, isolated thunderstorms through the day, and scattered rain showers in the afternoon are forecasted. Maximum temperature will be around 71 degrees, with minimum humidity around 38%. Winds are forecasted out of the west today from 5 to 7 mph. Gusty and erratic winds are expected near thunderstorms. Tonight will be mostly cloudy (75-85%). Expect areas of smoke. Scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecasted. Minimum temperature will be around 52 degrees, and humidity between 89-98%. West winds will be 5-6 mph. Gusty and erratic winds are expected near thunderstorms. Sunday forecast is cloudy (85-95%) with rain showers likely and slight chance of thunderstorms. Maximum temp around 67 degrees and minimum humidity 61%. Northwest winds are expected to be around 5 mph in the morning becoming light. Gusty and erratic winds expected near thunderstorms.

Special Announcements: The next public meeting will be held Monday, July 27th at noon at the Tanana Community Hall to provide updated fire information. A smoke advisory is in effect for Tanana today until 4:00 pm. Smoke and air quality indices and alerts can be found on the Alaska DEC Division of Air Quality website at: http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Advisories/Index. Weather forecast can be found at: http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/obs.php

The public is advised to avoid traveling Site Road because of the danger of falling trees and heavy equipment use in the area.

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/.
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