Crews continue containment of Yukon Flats fires

Crews continue to secure the edges of two fires burning in the Yukon Flats and inch closer to containment each day. An estimated 80 percent of the Applevun Fire (#305) is contained while the Tiechovun Lake Fire (#304) is about 30 percent contained. A little rain is making its way into the area, however, it probably won’t be enough to wet the deep ground layers in the Yukon Flats. It remains the hold out for dry conditions while most of the state has seen wetting rains in the past week. The Applevun Fire received a sprinkle of rain overnight and both fires are experiencing scattered cloud cover and higher humidity levels so far today.

Map showing the Tiechovun Lake Fire and other fires in the area.

This map shows where the Tiechovun Lake Fire, outlined in red, overlaps with the Little Black Fire which burned 3,622 acres in 2007. The east flank overlaps with the Big Creek Fire that burned 47,000 acres in 1996 and the 132460 Fire that burned 75,000 acres in 1991. The south flank of the fire bumps up against the 758-acre FYU SW 42 Fire of 1994.  Click on link 7-11-18 304 Fire History for PDF version of map.

Fire behavior was minimal with smoldering and some torching on the 2,709-acre Tiechovun Lake Fire burning about 16 miles south of Chalkyitsik. Crews and squads of firefighters moving around by motorboats continued to mop up on the north and east flank yesterday. Firefighters cold-trailed spot fires by feeling with their hands for hot spots, ensuring the burned areas west of the Little Black River are cold. Firefighters will continue to secure the east flank along the river and mop up the north and southeast flanks today. There are 98 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. The fire is mostly burning an area that burned in Little Black Fire in 2007.

Map of the Applevun Fire on July 11, 2018.

Map of the Applevun Fire on July 11, 2018. Click on link 7-11-18 Applevun Fire Chalkyitsik for PDF version of map.

The Applevun Fire was smoldering in tundra, black and white spruce Tuesday. The 28 firefighters – eight smokejumpers and the Type 1 Chena Interagency Hotshots – assigned to the fire continue mopping up and gridding. Firefighters are using a drone fitted with an infrared camera to find hot spots within the fire’s perimeter. So far, the drone has uncovered several hot spots that are burning deep under the tundra mat. The mop up has also been complicated by fire smoldering in suppression-resistant peat. However, the goal is still to have the fire completely out before demobilizing, which could happen after the weekend. 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.

 

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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