Lightning triggers 19 new starts in BLM AFS’s Galena Zone Tuesday

BLM Alaska Fire Service’s Galena Zone experienced 19 new starts Tuesday due to a rash of lightning hitting the southwestern Yukon River corridor. The new starts occurred in either limited – the lowest priority – and full management option areas. Many of these new fires were discovered along the western coast from Unalakleet to Point Romanof when Galena Zone personnel flew over the area where lightning was detected earlier. Mother Nature put out some of the fires with rain. Aircraft, including the water-scooping Fire Bosses airplanes, were used to prevent others from spreading. BLM AFS smokejumpers responded to three other fires and quickly caught them. They will finish up work on these fires and demobilize by Thursday. The 20-person Midnight Sun Interagnecy Hotshot Crew, which was just released from the North Robertson Fire near Tok, will move to the Galena Zone today and divide up between some of the left over fires to put them out, according to BLM AFS fire management officials.

The Deadmans Slough Fire (#162) is a priority for the Galena Zone because it is burning within two miles of Anvik. Suppress efforts advanced yesterday through work on the ground and by air. After a better size up of area burned, the fire was estimated to have burned 400 acres, but is considered 30 percent contained. The area received a trace of precipitation Tuesday to help subdue fire activity.

There are 33 BLM Alaska Fire Service firefighters staffing the fire including eight smokejumpers that have been there since Sunday, the first day of the fire. The 21-person Chena Interagency Hotshot Crew joined the ground fight on Monday night. A Type 2 Emergency Firefighting Crew from Grayling will soon join the efforts. Ground crews will continue to build saw and hose lines around the perimeter of the fire to limit its growth with the goal of protecting Anvik and eventually putting the fire out. There is a higher chance that rain will fall on Friday to help with that objective.

For more information contact BLM AFS Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at or (907)356-5511.

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, BLM Alaska Fire Service

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