Copper Center, AK: There was very little fire growth on the Steamboat Creek Fire on Friday. The estimated acreage is now 19,600 acres. Burning conditions are unfavorable for growth due to the continued forecast for rain. Smoke was observed on Friday on the south edge of the fire where it was lightly burning outside the 2009 Chakina Fire perimeter. There was also smoke observed on the southeast edge of the fire where previously unburned spruce trees were igniting.
As of 8:00AM today, 0.3” of rain had fallen near the fire since July 21st when the remote weather station was installed, roughly when the rain event began. Similar readings were also observed at the May Creek weather station. With previously observed drought conditions, the fire will need to receive considerable rainfall to extinguish the fire.
A total of 12 personnel are set up as an Incident Management Organization in the Tony Zak community building in McCarthy to plan for future operations. One engine and one helicopter are available for fire observations, initial attack, and patrol. The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is still in place and fire personnel ask that pilots stay alert to the possibility of reduced visibility due to smoke in the valley. For further information and photos, visit Inciweb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4867/.
Fire personnel continue to monitor a variety of historical cabins outside of the fire perimeter and are in the process of evaluating and planning for structure protection. The protection of these structures combines both Firewise concepts (thinning of brush and trees) and sprinkler systems. Specific standards are utilize for each cabin which should minimize risk to firefighters, increase defensibility of a structure, and decrease response time needed to respond in case of a wildland fire.
The Yokneda Lake Fire is estimated at 3,245 acres and another day of widespread rain over the fire area helped with limiting fire activity. No visible smoke columns were observed from surrounding communities or roadways. The increase in size was due to more accurate mapping and the ability to map the entire perimeter without any obstruction from thick smoke.
Several other fires continue to burn within and near Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve that are contributing to smoke in the region. Smoke from the Tiekel Fires, estimated at 900 acres, is burning along the Tiekel River about 3.5 miles east of the Richardson Highway.
Travelers are asked to monitor fire activity and smoke impacts online at: http://fire.ak.blm.gov/aicc.php. An interactive map provides information on fires that are actively burning near the highway system across all of Alaska. For detailed information on fires burning in the state visit: https://akfireinfo.com/.