Firefighters continue to secure perimeters on Yukon Flats fires

Firefighters continue to make headway toward containment of both fires burning in the Yukon Flats since July 2. A majority of the Applevun Fire (#305) is contained while the Tiechovun Lake Fire (#304) is about 15 percent contained. Neither fire has experienced growth in the past couple of days.

The Tiechovun Lake Fire (#304) is burning about 16 miles south of Chalkyitsik and has not changed much since this photo was taken on July 2, 2018. Photo by John Lyons, BLM AFS

The Tiechovun Lake Fire (#304) is burning about 16 miles south of Chalkyitsik and has not changed much since this photo was taken on July 2, 2018. Photo by John Lyons, BLM AFS

Mother Nature aided firefighters’ efforts by providing cloud cover and high humidity over the 2,709-acre Tiechovunk Lake Fire on Friday. Firefighters still have a long road ahead of them as they continue to secure an estimated 14 miles of line on the fire that is burning in a mixture of tundra grass, white and black spruce. Firefighters are mopping up the edge of the fire near a Native allotment on the east side of the fire. There are four allotments and two cabins threatened by the fire. Firefighters also finished mopping up spot fires on the other side of the Little Black River and will continue to secure the line along the river. There are 92 people working on the fire including four hand crews. The lightning-caused fire is burning in an area that is a combination of limited and modified fire management option areas within the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge 16 miles south of Chalkyitsik.

Map of Tiechovunk Lake Fire.
Map of Tiechovunk Lake Fire. Click on link 7-7-18 Tiechovun Lake Fire map for PDF version of map.

Firefighters working on the Applevun Fire reported minimal fire activity for past few days as they continue work on securing the 4.5-mile edge of the fire by mopping up and gridding. There are 28 firefighting personnel working on the 144-acre fire that has burned a mile-long skinny swath of grass interspersed with a mixture of black and white spruce and hardwoods. The fire is burning on Native corporation land in a modified management option area about 10 miles west of Chalkyitsik.

The Applevunk Fire is burning about 10 miles west of Chalkyitsik and has not changed much since this photo was taken on July 2, 2018. Photo by John Lyons, BLM AFS

The Applevunk Fire is burning about 10 miles west of Chalkyitsik and has not changed much since this photo was taken on July 2, 2018. Photo by John Lyons, BLM AFS

The Yukon Flats will continue to be the hot spot of the state and is expected to reach near red flag conditions today with hot, dry and gusty south to southwest winds. However, the humidity levels are expected to increase tonight as moisture from the remnants of Typhoon Prapiroon move into Alaska from the Bering Sea. While the western part of the state will get rain in the upcoming days, the rain may not reach far enough east to hit the Yukon Flats.

Map of Applevunk Fire in relation to Chalyitsik.
Map of Applevunk Fire in relation to Chalyitsik. Click on link 7-7-18 Applevun Fire Map for PDF version of map.

 

For more information, contact BLM AFS Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)356-5510 or eipsen@blm.gov.

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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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