Steamboat Creek Fire received some precipitation yesterday which reduced fire activity but a slight change in size at 19,328 acres. As the weather front moved in, winds shifted and smoke was impacting areas in the nearby region.
Fire managers plan to keep the fire south and west of the Chitina River and are mobilizing vehicles and staff towards McCarthy to work on structure protection near the fire. The Sunshine Lake Cabin and the Monham Cabin will have sprinkler systems set up in preparation for any increase in fire activity. In total, 5 Cabins will be set up with sprinklers as a preventative measure. Fire personnel will be setting up a staging area with supplies, planning operations, and public information at the McCarthy airport, and there are no changes to the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) at this time.
Although the fire has received some precipitation, it’s important to note that this region has been experiencing an extreme drought and it will require significant moisture over a prolonged time to extinguish the fire. Areas around McCarthy-Kennecott have received more rainfall than the fire area. Expect that fire behavior may increase and smoke may be impacting the local region as the weather is forecasted to warm and dry out by early next week. Use caution driving in smoke or haze and slow down.
In reduced visibility, stay alert for on-coming vehicles or wildlife along the McCarthy Road, as there are many blind curves and narrow roadways. The State burn suspension has been lifted but please stay diligent with any fire activities to help prevent wildfires.
Also, more accurate mapping will occur today to get a better sense of how large the fire has become and to help with planning purposes. Aviation resources will be available to monitor the fire. Even with rain, fire managers continue to ask residents and park visitors to be mindful of any activities that have the potential to cause a wildfire. More information can be found on Inciweb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4867/
Other fires burning in or near Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve are described below.
Yokneda Lake Fire (3,245 acres) – It rained throughout the day in the Chistochina area and the fire was able to benefit from the rain. Limited activity occurred and fire managers will continue to monitor the fire by aircraft.
Cutoff Fire (57 acres) – All crews have been demobilized off the fire and it is placed in monitor status. No further report.
Copper River Fire (0.2 acres) – The fire has been called contained and controlled with fire resources continuing to monitor for any fire activity. No further report.
Klawasi Fire (0.2 acres) – Continues to be monitored with no smoke being observed. No further report.
Danoho Fire (0.1 acres) – A lightning-caused fire between the Kennecott and Root Glaciers was found by hikers on July 20th; fire resources flew the fire and placed it in monitor status. No further report.