Work continues on BLM AFS staffed fires

The Andrew Creek Fire (#366) is burning near the confluence of the Sam Creek and Yukon River in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve on July 26, 2018. Photo by Branden Petersen, BLM AFS

The Andrew Creek Fire (#366) is burning near the confluence of the Sam Creek and Yukon River in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve on July 26, 2018. Photo by Branden Petersen, BLM AFS

The high pressure that brought warm and dry conditions to many of the fires in the past few days is moving off to the east in Canada, resulting in slightly cooler weather and even some rain in parts of Alaska. As good as that sounds, the Eastern Interior where two of the state’s staffed fires are located, are predicted to remain the driest part of Alaska.

Firefighters had to move quickly to protect a cabin after one of the cluster of fires along the Yukon River made a run Wednesday night. The Andrew Creek Fire (#366) grew from about 700 acres to an estimated 2,100 acres in about six hours yesterday as it burned through black spruce toward the mouth of Sam Creek. It was estimated at 4,868 acres today. There are 11 personnel and two helicopters from the the National Park Service and BLM Alaska Fire Service that are tasked with assessing the numerous structures in the area surrounding the Coal Creek mine and setting up methods to protect them from five fires burning in the area. The immediate concern was the Dome Creek Fire (#361) burning in between Woodchopper and Coal creeks. However, that changed when the Andrew Creek Fire gobbled up acres between the mouth of the Sam and Coal creeks yesterday.

This maps show some of the fires burning in the Coal Creek area within the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve on July 27, 2018.

This maps show some of the fires burning in the Coal Creek area within the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve on July 27, 2018. Click on link 7-26-18 Yukon Charley fires for PDF version of map.

There was no acreage change yesterday as the Hughes Mountain Fire (#363) continues to burn on Native Corporation land about four miles west of Hughes. Eight smokejumpers are working in a forested area with steep terrain on Hughes Mountain across the Koyukuk River from the village of Hughes. There is a mixture of black spruce, white spruce and hardwoods leading from the fire down to the Koyukuk River opposite of the village of Hughes. The smokejumpers reported the fire is burning deep in the duff layer of sphagnum moss. They are cutting saw lines, some of it through downed white spruce trees, around hot areas to keep the fire from spreading. Aided by water-scooping Fire Boss airplanes, they have held the fire to an estimated 30 acres as lower temperatures and higher humidity levels helped moderate fire activity today.

The Hughes Mountain Fire (#363) is burning in steep terrain on the Hughes Mountain about four miles west of the village of Hughes.

The Hughes Mountain Fire (#363) is burning in steep terrain on the Hughes Mountain about four miles west of the village of Hughes. Click on link 7-26-18 Hughes Mtn Fire GAD for a PDF version of the map.

After two days of very active burning, the Zitziana River Fire (#133) has surpassed the neighboring Mooseheart Fire (#204) in the estimated number of acres burned. The Zitziana River Fire, which started on June 4, was at 37,524 acres when last mapped on July 7. It started its push around the southern side of the lake on Sunday and burned up the west side for an estimated a gain of around 21,000 acres by Wednesday. The Zitziana River Fire is believed to have burned 59,097 acres while the Mooseheart Fire, which was discovered on June 6, is estimated to have burned 56,602 acres. Both are lightning caused fires burning in a limited fire management option area and, until it threatened structures and Native land allotments, was in monitoring status. There are 16 people, including a squad of emergency firefighters from rural Alaska, working on the fire securing the lines around the structures.

The 59,097-acre Zitziana River Fire (#133) on the right and the 56,602-acre Mooseheart Fire (#204) are burning south of Manley Hot Springs about 100 miles west of Fairbanks.

The 59,097-acre Zitziana River Fire (#133) on the right and the 56,602-acre Mooseheart Fire (#204) are burning south of Manley Hot Springs about 100 miles west of Fairbanks.  Click on link 7-26-18 Map for a PDF version of the map.

For more information, contact 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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