Cloudy and cooler weather helped moderate fire behavior and growth on the Taixtsalda Hill Fire (#357) on Thursday. The fire is now 22,000 acres in size, an increase of only 15 acres.
The fire, which started July 23, is burning in a remote area approximately 14 miles southwest of the village of Northway and 38 miles southeast of Tok. It is approximately 20 miles west of the Alaska Highway.
A Type 3 incident management team based in Northway is overseeing the fire for the Alaska Division of Forestry. There are 158 personnel assigned to the incident. The fire is believed to be human caused and the specific cause is under investigation.
On Thursday, protective measures were completed for property and cabins at Jatahmund Lake, approximately 9 miles southwest of the fire. A boat and helicopter supported the firefighters’ movements around the lake to different sites during their mission. Today firefighters at the lake will be moved by helicopter.
Yesterday the firing module returned to the Cheslina radio repeater to further secure the site. They spent Thursday night at that location. Today the module will be moved by helicopter to secure a remote weather station.
With the completion of protective measures around cabins, Native allotments and a radio repeater, combined with cooler, damper weather moderating fire behavior, demobilization of resources and crews will begin on Saturday, and transition to a Type 4 organization next Tuesday. The weather outlook for the next week will not support any significant fire growth.
The temporary flight restriction over the fire area was enlarged to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft as the fire grows. There are multiple firefighting aircraft flying in the area. To check on the coordinates of the revised TFR, pilots can go to http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_8_8698.html.
Future community meetings will be scheduled when needed or if the fire burns closer to the communities.
For more information, call the fire information officer Jim Schwarber at (907) 707-9866