Hotter, drier weather could increase fire activity on Zitziana and Mooseheart fires

Weather conditions remained favorable and provided a chance for fire managers to strategically relocate some of the 152 personnel working on the Zitziana River Fire (#133) and Mooseheart Fire (#204) on Tuesday. The two lightning-caused fires started June 4 and June 6, respectively. The fires are burning about 3 miles apart south of the Tanana River, approximately 100 miles west of Fairbanks and 8 miles south of Manley Hot Springs.

Neither fire has grown in size since late last week due to rain and cooler, cloudy weather for the last several days. The Zitziana River Fire remains at an estimated 34,380 acres while the Mooseheart Fire is holding at 52,700 acres. The two fires are being managed by a Type 3 organization from the BLM Alaska Fire Service that is based in Manley Hot Springs.

Drier, warmer weather is expected over the next two days with temperatures reaching into the upper 70s and the relative humidity dropping below 25 percent. The hotter, drier weather could increase fire activity on both fires. A reconnaissance flight Tuesday night revealed increased fire behavior around Kindamina Lake as conditions began to dry due to warmer, drier conditions.

On Tuesday, firefighters continued mopping up around structures on Kindamina Lake that were threatened by the fire and began assessing cabins on Mooseheart Lake for potential structure protection. The Chena Interagency Hotshot Crew continued building direct line between the north end of Kindamina Lake and a small lake to the west. The White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack Crew was relocated from Iksgiza Lake and began construction of an indirect line from Kindamina Lake to the south end of the lake the Chena Hotshots are working toward.

Smokejumpers and the BLM AFS Midnight Sun Interagency Hotshot Crew on the Tanana River southeast of Manley Hot Springs continued point protection work on three Native allotments in the area. The closest allotment is 1.5 miles from the fire.

Both fires are 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 that may be are threatened.

A temporary flight restriction (TFR) remains in place over both fires to provide a safe flying environment for aircraft working to support firefighters on the ground. Pilots should go to http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_8_6507.html to check NoTAMS before flying anywhere in the area.

For more information, go to akfireinfo.com or call the fire information office at the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center at (907) 356-5511.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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