Fires Continue to be monitored in the Copper River Basin

Fires from the recent lightning storms are continuing to burn in the Copper River Basin, but fire managers from the Alaska Division of Forestry and National Park Service have done an exceptional job with balancing suppression activities and managing fires for resource benefits. Fire is a natural process in the Alaska ecosystem which helps reduce dead vegetation and stimulates new growth and improves habitat for wildlife. The following fires are within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve at this time:
Steamboat Creek Fire (17,000 acres)– Yesterday’s hot and dry conditions allowed for significant fire growth and the fire is now estimated at 17,000 acres. The fire is situated within the 2009 Chakina Fire burn scar and is burning patchy unburned fuels and completely consuming dead and down timber. These conditions are being fanned by west winds and very dry conditions.
Smoke is visible from nearby areas but not impacting the towns of McCarthy, Kennecott, or the McCarthy Road at this time. Businesses and local recreational opportunities are not being impacted by the fire. In addition, no Temporary Flight Restrictions or TFR is issued for the area but we are asking folks that are either flying in or out of the area to be aware of the potential dangers in the fire area.
A public meeting is scheduled for tonight at the Tony Zak community building at 6 PM. Fire personnel will be available to discuss the current fire situation, predicted fire weather, future fire strategies, and answer any community questions.
Yokneda Lake Fire (2,097 acres) – Fire activity has been reduced due to cooler weather, light precipitation and cloudy skies. There is some activity in the northeastern portion of the fire with creeping and smoldering being observed. Smoke is still visible but has significantly decreased and is light in color.
Cutoff Fire (57 acres) – Crews have continued to make excellent progress and looking to have fire resources to be demobilized from the incident by 6 PM this evening.
Copper River Fire (0.2 acres) – The fire has been called contained and controlled with fire resources continuing to monitor for any fire activity.
Klawasi Fire (0.2 acres) – Continues to be monitored with no smoke being observed.
Hot and dry conditions continue in the Basin today and tomorrow but a predicted forecast of rain is set to arrive on Thursday. Fire managers continue to ask residents and park visitors to be mindful of any activities that have the potential to cause a wildfire.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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