Tanana area fires update, July 30

Tanana Area Fire Facts at a Glance

TOTAL ACRES: 496,131

Cause: Lightning

Spicer Creek (4 mi. N Tanana) ~ 183,415 acres;
Harper Bend (6 mi. SE Tanana) ~43,378 acres
Moose Point (~55 mi. W Tanana) ~26,612 acres
Kokrine (~50 mi. W Tanana) ~4,811 acres;
Bering Creek (37 mi. SW Tanana) ~237,906 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: 225, including various support/logistics personnel; Four Type 1 (Hotshot) and two Type 2 crews and 1 Type 3 Tanana crew.
Aircraft: One Type 2 helicopter and one Type 3 helicopter
Equipment: 9 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, on the Spicer Creek fire west of Bear Creek, two hot shot crews worked the 1 ½-mile length where there was still some fire activity and hot spots upstream from the mouth of creek.


Crews on the Bear Creek to Site Road containment line dismantled the north spike camp and continued pulling hose and pumps from the line and returning the equipment and supplies to fire camp in Tanana.


In the Site Road and Mission area crews cut down hazard trees along Site Road. In addition, they patrolled the road, repaired hand lines, hauled brush, dismantled water pumps and hose lays and returned the equipment and supplies back to fire camp in Tanana.


The river group pulled several more water pumps, hoses and sprinkler systems from some of the structures along the Yukon and Tanana Rivers. They checked remaining water pumps and sprinkler systems to ensure they were operating in the event they are needed for structure protection. They cleaned up and backhauled the last of the equipment and supplies from Bible Camp.


Today, there will be a reconnaissance flight with the palm infrared camera to look for any problem hot spots that could threaten the containment lines or structures. The flight will cover all fires assigned to the Incident Management Team.


Two hot shot crews will return to the west side of Bear Creek to continue mopping up problem hot spots near the mouth of the creek.


With the Bear Creek to Site Road containment line completed and mopped up, crews will continue pulling any remaining hose east to Site Road.


In the Site Road/Mission area, crews will continue cutting hazard trees along Site Road and patrolling the road for hot spots. Rehabilitation is on hold due to equipment mechanical issues and wet soil conditions.


The Yukon River group will continue dismantling pump and hose systems and sprinklers and return the equipment to fire camp in Tanana. They will clean up and return supplies that were left at one of the last spike camps.


High pressure will begin to build over the area today and remain through the weekend. There may be a few rain showers this afternoon and evening. Today will be mostly cloudy with patchy smoke and isolated rain showers. Maximum temperature will be around 70 degrees with a minimum humidity of 44%. Light winds are expected this morning becoming west from 5-10 mph in the afternoon. Tonight’s forecast is for cloudy skies. Expect the minimum temperature to be around 49 degrees and maximum humidity 87%. West winds are forecasted to be 5-10 mph in the evening becoming light. Friday, expect mostly sunny with maximum temperature around 73 degrees and minimum humidity of 39%. Light surface winds from 5-10 mph will become west in the afternoon.


Special Announcements: Please note the following change: The next public meeting will be held tonight, Thursday, July 30th at 7:00 pm at the Tanana Community Hall to provide fire information and to introduce the new Type 3 fire organization. This will be the last public meeting provided by the Eastern Area Incident Management Team. The new Type 3 fire organization will assume management responsibility for the Tanana Area Fires at 6:00 am, Friday, July 31st.


There are no active smoke advisories in Alaska 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 traffic associated with rehabilitation.


For more info: For today, please contact Information Officers, Bill Paxton or Kristen Miller, Tanana School ICP, at 907-987-9835 or TananaAreaFires2015@gmail.com. Starting tomorrow (Friday), for fire information on Tanana Area Fires, please contact Information Officer Pat York at Tanana School ICP at 907-987-9835. 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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