More lightning holdover fires discovered; Zitziana River and Mooseheart fires demobilize

 

Firefighters on the Zitziana River (#133) and Mooseheart (#204) fires are packing up and backhauling excess equipment from the fireline as the drawdown of forces continues. Due to forecasted weather and moderating fire activity, fire managers are reducing the number of firefighters assigned. A small contingent of firefighters will remain to provide point protection for cabins and allotments on area lakes and along the Tanana River should fire activity increase.

During a reconnaissance flight Wednesday evening over the Zitziana River Fire active burning was observed on the southeast portion of the fire. During that flight an increase in the perimeter was noted where the fire had made a half-mile run. Gusty winds from previous passing thunderstorms are believed responsible for the growth to the south and southeast between Kindamina and Iksgiza lakes.

The Chena Interagency Hotshot Crew and several members of the BLM Alaska Smokejumpers are being released today. Demobilization of the remaining excess forces will continue tomorrow.

The Zitziana River Fire grew by 945 acres, bringing it to an estimated 35,113 acres. The Mooseheart Fire remains at an estimated 53,365 acres. The two lightning-caused wildfires are approximately 100 miles west of Fairbanks and 8 miles south of Manley Hot Springs.

Stebbins Dump Fire (#280) – 10 acres, eight personnel, outside of Stebbins, human caused on June 26. Smokejumpers were deployed to the fire Wednesday after the fire escaped the dump and began to grow. They worked to contain the fire and remained on the fire overnight. They will assess their need to remain beyond today.

Wickersham Fire (#284) – 0.4 acres, at Mile 46.5 of the Elliot Highway, lightning caused on June 26. The North Star Crew finished mopping up Wednesday, called the fire out and returned to Fairbanks.

Several new fires were reported Wednesday:

Skinny’s 2018 Fire (#292) – 0.1 acres, seven personnel, approximately 25 miles west of Fairbanks, human caused. An Alaska Department of Forestry engine reported smoke north of the Parks Highway. Helitack responded to the area and helped the engine find access to the fire that was smoldering in hardwoods with no resources threatened. Personnel on the engine knocked down the fire and a squad of firefighters was dispatched to the fire to cut snags and mop up.

Ekiek Section 32 Fire (#288) – 0.1 acres, approximately 30 miles east of Selawik, lightning caused. A detection aircraft located the fire in a Limited Management Area. The fire was not active, with no values at risk and was placed in monitor status.

Tagagawik Fire (#289) – 3 acres, approximately 35 miles east of Selawik, lightning caused. A detection aircraft located the fire in a Limited Management Area. The fire was not active, with no values at risk and was placed in monitor status.

Shinilikrok Creek Fire (#290) – 10 acres, approximately 60 miles east of Selawik, lightning caused. A detection aircraft located the fire in a Limited Management Area. The fire was 40 percent active, creeping and backing in tundra with 1-2 foot flame lengths. Native allotments in the area along the Selawik River were not immediately at risk and expected weather condition are favorable for preventing growth toward them. The fire was placed in monitor status.

Saturn Fire (#291) – .1 acres, on Saturn Way off Dawson Road in North Pole, human caused. Alaska Division of Forestry and North Star Volunteer Fire Department were asked to respond by Fairbanks City Dispatch to a 50 x 50 burn pile that escaped a burn pit into black spruce. The North Stars took action and the forestry engines were released. The fire was contained, controlled and called out. A Forestry prevention officer issued a written warning.

Live Valley #3 Fire (#293) – .2 acres, Fort Wainwright, Yukon Training Area, human caused. Personnel patrolling the Live Valley Fire (#277) discovered the fire. The fire was 50 percent active with 1-2 foot flame lengths with a low rate of spread in grass, hardwood mix and jack straw. The fire is located in a Limited Management Area and was placed in monitor status.

Live Valley #2 Fire (#294) – 3 acres, Fort Wainwright, Yukon Training Area, human caused. Personnel patrolling the Live Valley Fire (#277) discovered the fire. Fire behavior was smoldering, with 20 percent of the fire perimeter actively burning. No values at risk were identified. The fire is located in a Limited Management Area and was placed in monitor status.

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