Tanana Area Fire updates, July 27

Tanana Area Fire Facts at a Glance

TOTAL ACRES: 491,330

Cause: Lightning

Spicer Creek (4 mi. N Tanana) ~ 178,971 acres;
Harper Bend (6 mi. SE Tanana) ~43,378 acres
Moose Point (~55 mi. W Tanana) ~26,600 acres
Kokrine (~50 mi. W Tanana) ~4,811 acres;
Bering Creek (37 mi. SW Tanana) ~237,570 acres

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

Date Started: 06/19/2015

Percent Contained or Completed: 90%
Personnel: 316, 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: 1 boats, 1 watertender, 1 excavator, 1 dozer, an 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, smoke jumpers and members of a hot shot crew continued with structure protection, mopping up after the burn out operation of structures on the Tozitna River and monitoring the north edge of the Spicer Creek Fire.

Fire personnel flew a reconnaissance flight yesterday with an infrared camera to look for hot spots near containment lines and structures along the rivers. The fires were less active than the previous day with moderate fire activity within the interior of fire perimeters. Light showers were received across the area with 0.17” of rain recorded in the village of Tanana.

On the Spicer Creek fire, multiple hot spots were detected with the infrared camera along the west edge of Bear Creek. Crews mopped up hot spots on the Bear Creek containment line to Site Road and continued monitoring.

In the Site Road and Mission area crews continued patrols and mop up. Rehab continued on the primary dozer line and secondary hand lines. Crews continued to haul brush piles and dismantle water pumps and hose lays in preparation for returning the equipment and supplies back to fire camp in Tanana.

The river group pulled several more water pumps and hoses along the Yukon and Tanana Rivers. They checked all remaining water pumps and hose lays near protected structures.

Today, air operations will be busy most of the day hauling water pumps, hoses and other fire suppression supplies and equipment back to camp in Tanana.

The jumpers and hot shots on the north end of Spicer Creek Fire on the Tozitna River will complete the structure protection operation and will be brought back to fire camp in Tanana.

Fire personnel will be looking at the possibility of boat access to the Tundra division along the west side of Bear Creek. This remains an area of concern due to the hot spots that showed up on the infrared camera. Due to the difficulty of access and challenging walking conditions in the tundra, suppression strategy will be reassessed today. Monitoring fire activity will continue.

With the Bear Creek to Site Road containment line completed and hot spots mopped up, crews will be pulling hose along this line and returning supplies to fire camp in Tanana.

Patrol and rehabilitation of dozer and hand lines will continue in the Site/Mission area. Brush piles will continue to be hauled off. More water pumps and hoses will be dismantled and returned to camp in Tanana. The hot spots that showed up on the infrared camera along Site Road will be mopped up, and the road patrolled for additional hot spots.

The Yukon River group will continue patrols, checking existing pumps and hose lays for satisfactory operation, and collecting pumps and hoses that will no longer be needed.

There is a chance for wetting rain today. Today will be mostly cloudy with areas of smoke. Scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms are possible. Maximum temperature will be 68 degrees with 45-50% humidity. Winds will be light with gusty and erratic winds expected near thunderstorms. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with areas of smoke. There is a chance of isolated thunderstorms in the evening and scattered rain through the night. Minimum temperature will be around 52 degrees with maximum humidity 87-96%. Light winds are forecasted becoming north around 5 mph after midnight. Gusty and erratic winds are expected near thunderstorms in the evening. Tuesday will be partly sunny with scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms. Temperature will be around 67 degrees and minimum humidity will be 48%. Light winds are forecasted with gusty and erratic winds expected near thunderstorms.

Special Announcements: The next public meeting will be held today, 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. There is an air quality advisory in effect for Tanana until 4:00 pm today. 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, Baker and other fires in Alaska, contact the BLM Alaska Fire Service at 907-356-5511 or blm_ak_afs_public_affairs@blm.gov or https://akfireinfo.com/.

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