Firefighters’ work advances despite continued dry conditions in Yukon Flats

Despite the drier than expected conditions in the Yukon Flats, firefighters are steadily advancing toward the goal of having both fires burning since July 2 contained. An estimated 80 percent of the Applevun Fire (#305) is contained while the Tiechovun Lake Fire (#304) is about 25 percent contained. After humidity levels were lower than expected yesterday, firefighters woke up today to sunny skies on both fires instead of the predicted cloud cover. The forecast calls for a higher chance of rain on Wednesday, however, it probably won’t be enough to significantly reduce the fire danger in the Yukon Flats because of the dry deep ground layers.

Map of Tiechovun Lake Fire on June 10, 2018.

Map of Tiechovun Lake Fire on June 10, 2018. Click on link 7-10-18 305 Tiechovun Lake Fire for PDF version of map.

Fire behavior on the 2,709-acre Tiechovun Lake Fire was moderate yesterday with some smoldering observed. Crews continued to work towards each other securing the fire edge on the northwest, north and northeast flanks. Firefighters will continue mopping up securing the line of the 4-mile long fire burning about 16 miles south of Chalkyitsik. There are 96 firefighting personnel working on the fire that is burning in an area that is a combination of limited and modified fire management option areas within the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

Firefighters are using a drone fitted with an infrared camera to find hot spots within the Applevun Fire’s perimeter. This will help with ensuring the roughly 100-acre fire is completely out by the time they are done on the fire. Minimal fire behavior was observed Monday with smoldering in tundra, black and white spruce. The 28 firefighters – eight smokejumpers and the Type 1 Chena Interagency Hotshots –will continue mop up and gridding today. They anticipate to have work wrapped up this week and possibly demobilize this weekend. However, that depends on what the drone and firefighters find for hot spots in the interior and how long it takes to put them out – especially in areas where the fire burned in the suppression-resistant peat. The lightning-caused fire is burning on Native corporation land in a modified management option area about 10 miles west of Chalkyitsik.

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

The Tiechovun Lake Fire (#304) is 25 percent contained and Applevunk Fire (#305) is 80 percent contained.

The Tiechovun Lake Fire (#304) is 25 percent contained and Applevunk Fire (#305) is 80 percent contained. Click on link 7-10-18 304-305 Fires update for a PDF version of the map.

 

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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