The Oregon Lakes Impact Area Fire near Fort Greely has grown to an estimated 3,500 acres as it continues to move north through grass and downed trees left from a 2013 fire. BLM Alaska Fire Service personnel flew over the fire midday Thursday and reported the fire was backing, creeping and sometimes running in an area that is interspersed with lakes – some of which still had ice. The fire’s head was moving in a northerly direction and was active on 60 percent of its perimeter. It is staying confined to an area that burned in 2013. The BLM AFS Military Fire Management Zone is working with U.S. Army Alaska Garrison and the Alaska Division of Forestry to monitor Fire #077 and determine the best course of action to keep it from burning outside military lands. It is burning in a limited protection area and is not immediately threatening any resources.
The remote fire is burning about 7 miles southwest of Fort Greely on the west side of the braided Delta River within the Donnelly Training Area in the Oregon Lakes Impact Area. It is burning roughly 1-1/2 miles south of an area that has several roads and a shear blade line constructed as the boundary between U.S. Army Alaska Garrison and State of Alaska lands. Currently, the fire is burning in an area with unexploded ordinance on the ground, making it too dangerous to place firefighters in the field. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The high-pressure system that produced warmer, sunny weather the past few days to help fire growth is predicted to be slowly pushed out by a weather front that will move in from the southwest this evening, according to a forecast from the National Weather Service. Westerly winds are forecasted to shift to the northwest, but are predicted to stay between 4-8 mph. Clouds were starting to form while BLM AFS personnel flew over the fire. If the forecast pans out, the area will see cooler temperatures, higher humidity levels and possibly rain or even snow. This cooler weather is expected to last through Sunday when another ridge is forecasted to settle over the area and bring warmer weather.
For more information, contact BLM AFS Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)356-5510 or email@example.com.