6:30 p.m., July 20, 2016 – The BLM Alaska Fire Service is working on a 20-acre fire burning along the Chandalar River five miles west of Venetie. Eight smokejumpers are already on the ground with a Bell B-212 helicopter headed that way to help dump water on the flames and the need for more resources being evaluated. The fire was reported by someone in the area and another person through flight service at around 4:16 p.m. The Christian Fire (#557) is burning in a full protection area. A spotter on the smokejumper plane reported the fire was 75 percent active and was torching and running through spruce near a trail that leads out of the village that runs parallel to the river. Rains that have doused much of the Interior have missed the northeast corner of the state, making conditions ripe for fire spread when ignited. There were light winds of about 4 mph with humidity levels at 22 percent and 72 degree weather in that area today. Venetie is located about 146 miles north of Fairbanks and 67 miles northwest of Fort Yukon. Another fire, the Chandalar River (#380) is burning on the opposite side of the river and southeast of Venetie since June 29. It’s estimated at 2,958 acres and burning in a limited protection area. It’s not threatening any structures and is being monitored by personnel from the BLM AFS Upper Yukon Zone.
For more information, contact Beth Ipsen, BLM AFS public affairs specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (907)356-5511 or cell (907)388-2159.