Decreased fire activity allows firefighters to continue protection work

A second day of decreased fire activity allowed firefighters to continue their work Sunday to protect structures threatened by the Zitziana River Fire burning about eight miles south of Manley Hot Springs. Firefighters spent the day mopping up around structures on the north and east side of Kindamina Lake that were immediately threatened by the fire when it made a six-mile push on Thursday and Friday.

Map of the Zitziana River Fire (#133) and Mooseheart Fire (#204) burning south of Manley on June 18, 2018.

Map of the Zitziana River Fire (#133) and Mooseheart Fire (#204) burning south of Manley on June 18, 2018. Click on this link 061818_133-204_AMmap for a PDF version of the map.

There was no substantial growth Sunday on either the Zitziana River Fire (#133) or the Mooseheart Fire (#204) burning to the west. The Mooseheart Fire is estimated at 52,700 acres since it started on June 6 and the Zitziana River Fire has burned an estimated at 34,380 aces since it started on June 4. Both are lightning-caused fires burning in a limited fire management option area that allows fires to function in their normal ecological role while allowing for protection of structures and Native allotments at risk. The Mooseheart Fire was the most active and biggest concern until the Zitziana Fire grew 18,700 acres on Thursday and Friday. Meanwhile, the Mooseheart Fire has been relatively calm the past few days, largely due to it burning in an old burn. Fire personnel are keeping tabs on it by routinely flying over the area.

There are 140 personnel working on the Zitziana River Fire including a Type 3 Incident Management organization set up in Manley Hot Springs to coordinate the firefighting efforts. The Type 2 Initial Attack Tanana Chief Crew continues protecting structures immediately threatened on the east side of the Kindamina Lake. Meanwhile, the BLM AFS Type 1 Chena Hotshots are working on a plan in case the fire decides to threaten structures on the west side of the lake.

Eight smokejumpers and the Division of Forestry’s Type 2 Initial Attack (IA) White Mountain Crew deployed Friday to protect structures at Iksgiza Lake, which is about two miles east of the fire. The original four smokejumpers that first jumped near the fire on the Tanana River to the north Thursday and the BLM AFS Midnight Sun Hotshots continue assessing structures and Native land allotments along the Tanana River and setting up protection measures.

A temporary flight restriction (TFR) was put in place over both fires Friday and expanded Saturday to provide a safe flying area for the multitude of aircraft working in support with firefighters on the ground. Airmen are asked to regularly check NoTAMs as the TFR area may expand along with firefighting efforts. For more information regarding NoTAM Number FDC 8/6507, go to http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_8_6507.html

For more information call the interagency Fire Information office at (907)356-5511.

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About BLM Alaska Fire Service

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 244 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with a $10 million inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.

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