Tanana Area Fire updates, July 26

Tanana Area Fire Facts at a Glance

TOTAL ACRES: 489,673

Cause: Lightning

Spicer Creek (4 mi. N Tanana) ~ 178,779 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

Percent Contained or Completed: 80%
Personnel: 320, 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, they received rain on the north edge of the Spicer fire. Smoke jumpers and members of a hot
shot crew continued with structure protection, monitoring the fire and mopping up after the burn out
operation along the Tozitna River.

Personnel flew a reconnaissance flight yesterday looking for hot spots on the fires targeting containment
lines and structures along the rivers. Fires were moderately active within the interior of fire perimeters,
especially in unburned pockets of black spruce.

On the Spicer Creek fire, multiple hot spots were detected by the infrared camera and field observation
along the west edge of Bear Creek. Despite difficult walking conditions, crews made progress grubbing
out and mopping up many locations with significant heat. The infrared camera also showed a couple of
hot spots along the Bear Creek containment line toward Site Road. Firefighters addressed these hot
spots, and also mopped up to a depth of 50 feet along most of the line. Due to repeated and persistent
bear encounters at the Bear Creek spike camp, crews took action to dismantle camp and return to Tanana
for the night.

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 and hoses were
collected and sent back to fire camp to become available in other locations if necessary.

Boat patrols continued along the Yukon River and additional water pumps and hoses were collected and
returned to supply camp for possible use in other areas. The reconnaissance flight along the rivers
showed a few pockets of fire activity within the interior of the fires.

Today, the crews from the Bear Creek spike camp will be flown back out to work the western edge of Bear Creek in the areas of greatest concern with numerous hot spots.

The smoke jumpers and hot shot crew members will continue mopping up after the burnout operations from yesterday’s structure protection operation up the Tozitna River.

Patrols and rehabilitation of dozer and handlines will continue in the Site/Mission area. Several more brush piles will be removed and pumps and hose will be taken back to supply in Tanana.

Patrols and collecting pumps and hoses will continue along the Yukon River.

A persistent stationary thermal boundary will come into play again today. Weather will be cloudy with areas of smoke. Rain showers and isolated thunderstorms are likely. Maximum temperature will be around 67, minimum humidity 62%. Light winds are expected with gusty and erratic winds expected near thunderstorms. Tonight, mostly cloudy with areas of smoke are anticipated. Rain showers and isolated thunderstorms are likely throughout the night with scattered rain showers after midnight. Minimum temperature will be 52 degrees and maximum humidity 92-98%. West winds will be 5 mph in the evening becoming light. Gusty and erratic winds are expected near thunderstorms. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with areas of smoke in the morning, scattered rain showers, and a slight chance of thunderstorms through the day. Maximum temperature will be around 68 degrees and humidity 45-50%. Light winds are expected with 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, Monday. 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 AICC Information Center at 907-356-5511 or https://akfireinfo.com/.

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