BLM continues to monitor 24 active fires in the Upper Yukon Zone

A change in the weather has moderated fire activity on wildland fires northeast of Fort Yukon. Upper Yukon Zone fire managers are trading crews on the fire line to make firefighters initial attack available as fire activity picks up in the Tanana fire management zone. Permitted cabins and Native allotments that have been prepared for the approaching fires with pumps, hose lays, and sprinklers set up, making them turnkey operations if fire activity resumes.

There are 24 active fires in the Upper Yukon fire management zone that covers a section of the state east of the Dalton Highway to the Canadian border and from the Arctic Ocean south to Livengood and Chicken. Most of these fires are burning in remote areas designated for limited protection and are not threatening any known sites of value. Despite this, firefighters are staffing to two fires to protect cabins and Native allotments while allowing the remainder of the fire to continue to function in its natural ecological role. Smoky conditions are still possible as these fires will continue to burn until they receive significant wetting rains.

Here’s a breakdown of staffed fires in the Upper Yukon Zone:

Boulder Creek (#292) – 43,775 acres, an increase of 20,391 acres from Saturday. Start date 7/2/17. 46 personnel. Firefighters are organized into two different groups, both tasked with providing protection to Native allotments and permitted cabins in the area of Vundik Lake and the Sheenjek River. The fire received precipitation in the early morning hours Sunday and passing light showers intermittently through the day. Personnel will continue to hold their positions and monitor the fires burning nearby. The increase in acreage is from satellite imagery that was not obscured by smoke. The fire is .8 mile north of the Vundik Lake cabin, 2.5 miles from the allotment on the lake, and 4 miles from the allotment on the Sheenjek River. This fire and the Helmet Fire (#312) are within 3 miles of each other on the east side of the Sheenjek River. They are burning in a limited suppression area in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Campbell River (#268) – 84,919 acres, an increase of 29,610 acres from Saturday. Burning in Alaska since 6/26/17. 29 personnel. The BLM Type 2 Fort Yukon #2 Crew was mobilized to the fire Sunday, replacing the BLM Midnight Sun Interagency Hotshot Crew. The Suns will take days off to rest, refurbish their equipment, and be ready to return to the fire line. Today, the Fort Yukon crew will continue mopping up the perimeter around the Salmon Trout allotment. Working alongside Fort Yukon is a small crew from the BLM Fire Familiarization Program, which educates fire support personnel on what it takes to fight fire at the field level. Together, they will secure the line deeper around the allotment. The fire’s perimeter is still over 4 miles from the cabin at the confluence of the Campbell and Porcupine rivers. The cabin protection setup is complete for this cabin. The fire is burning in a limited protection area along the Porcupine River within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It started in the Yukon Territory on June 22 and crossed into Alaska on June 26. The total fire size is estimated to be more than 147,000 acres.

Contact Public Information Officer Sam Harrel at (907) 322-7204 or pio.samharrel@gmail.com for more information.

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