Firefighters continue to work on Yukon Flats fires

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for the Yukon Flats and surrounding areas from noon to 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for the Yukon Flats and surrounding areas from noon to 10 p.m. on Wednesday. Go to https://www.weather.gov/arh/fire to learn more.

Firefighters continue suppression efforts on two wind-driven, lightning-caused fires burning in the Yukon Flats since Monday.

They’ll be up against red flag conditions tomorrow that predict temperatures could reach as high as 80 degrees with a possible minimum humidity level of 25 percent with wind gusts of up to 35 mph. The red flag warning will be in effect for the Yukon Flats from noon until 10 p.m.

Water-scooping Fire Boss airplanes were busy while 16 smokejumpers, the Type 1 Midnight Sun Interagency Hotshots were on the ground trying to knock the fire down as well as set up protection measures on the four allotments and two cabins threatened by the Tiechovun Lake Fire (#304). The Fire Boss aircraft were instrumental in catching a couple of spot fires on the east side of the Little Black River Tuesday. The fire has burned an estimated 2,200 acres as of Tuesday evening. The BLM AFS Type 2 North Star Crew was mobilizing to the fire Tuesday evening and the Type 2 UAF Nanook Fire Crew is schedule to arrive tomorrow. The fire is threatening four Native land allotments and two cabins about 44 miles east of Fort Yukon. It’s burning grass and brush in a combination of limited and modified fire management option areas within the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

The fire was discovered by satellite imagery Monday morning and quickly grew to an estimated 100 acres by the afternoon.

Meanwhile, a load of eight smokejumpers, the Type 1 Chena Interagency Hotshots and helicopters with water-scooping buckets have been working on the nearby Applevun Fire (#305). The fire was estimated at 45-60 acres and burning a mile-long skinny swath of grass interspersed with a mixture of black spruce and hardwoods. The fire is burning on Native corporation land in a modified management option area about 10 miles southeast of Chalkyitsik.

There will be a high volume of firefighting traffic in the airspace around Fort Yukon in the upcoming days due to these fires. Helicopters and airplanes will be busy shuttling firefighters and supplies in and out of Fort Yukon.

Contact BLM AFS Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)35+-5510 or eipsen@blm.gov for more information.

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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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