Tanana Area Fire updates, July 28

Tanana Area Fire Facts at a Glance

TOTAL ACRES: 491,366

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) ~237,606 acres

NOTE: Hay Slough Fire information available by calling Alaska Fire Information at (907)356-5511.

Date Started: 06/19/2015

Percent Contained or Completed: 90%
Personnel: 256, including various support/logistics personnel; Four Type 1 (Hotshot) and three Type 2 crews and 1 Type 3 Tanana crew.
Aircraft: One Type 2 helicopter and one Type 3 helicopter
Equipment: 7 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 Baker fire is managed by Mike Bradley’s Type 4 team. The Hay Slough Fire continues to be jointly managed by Grant’s and Bradley’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 hot shots completed the operation on the north end of Spicer Creek Fire and returned to fire camp in Tanana.


On the Spicer Creek fire, multiple hot spots are still an issue on the west side of Bear Creek near the Yukon River. Fire personnel completed a reconnaissance trip by boat to the mouth of Bear Creek and found an access point ¼ mile up the creek that will provide a route for crews to continue fire suppression operations on the hot spots.


The Bear Creek to Site Road containment line is secure and clear of fire activity. Crews began pulling hose lines and water pumps to return them to camp in Tanana.


In the Site Road and Mission area crews continued patrols and mop up. Rehab was completed on the primary dozer line and continued on 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. Hot spots that had been located by infrared camera along Site Road were further mopped up.


The river group pulled several more water pumps and hoses along the Yukon and Tanana Rivers. They checked remaining water pumps to ensure they were operating in the event they are needed for structure protection.


Today, fire crews will be accessing the west side of Bear Creek by boat from the Yukon River. They will be cutting an access route into the area along Bear Creek containing the largest number of hot spots.


With the Bear Creek to Site Road containment line completed and mopped up, crews will continue pulling hose lines and water pumps and returning them to camp in Tanana. They will also pull the 1 1/2-mile stretch of hose line and water pumps from the Yukon River that supplied water to the containment line between Bear Creek and Site Road.


Patrol and repair of hand lines will continue in the Site Road/Mission area. No equipment work will be done today due to the wet conditions. 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 continue to be mopped up, and the road patrolled for additional hot spots.


The Yukon River group will continue patrols, checking existing pumps left in place near structures in the event they are needed. They will continue to pull excess pumps and return them to fire camp in Tanana.


There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms to develop later today as the temperature rises. Expect partly sunny today with patchy fog in the morning and smoke throughout the day. There is a chance of isolated rain showers in the morning and afternoon and isolated thunderstorms throughout the day. Maximum temperature will be between 66-71 degrees with 46% humidity. Light winds with gusty and erratic winds are expected near thunderstorms. Tonight expect mostly cloudy conditions with patchy fog and smoke throughout the night. Expect scattered rain showers in the evening, with isolated thunderstorms and rain showers through the night. Minimum temperature will be around 52 degrees and maximum humidity 79-87%. Light winds will become north around 5 mph after midnight. Gusty and erratic winds are expected near thunderstorms. Wednesday, expect partly sunny skies with patchy fog and isolated rain showers in the morning. Isolated thunderstorms are expected throughout the day and scattered rain showers are predicted in the afternoon. Maximum temperature will be 64-70 degrees with minimum humidity 42%. Light winds will become west at 5-7 mph in the afternoon. Gusty and erratic winds are expected near thunderstorms.


Special Announcements: The next public meeting will be held Thursday, July 30th at 7:00 pm at the Tanana Community Hall (Please note the change) to provide updated fire information. This will be the last public meeting provided by the Eastern Area Incident Management Team. The new Type 3 fire organization will begin the next day on Friday, July 31st.


An air quality advisory is in effect today for Tanana. 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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