BLM Alaska Fire Service personnel flew over the Oregon Lakes Impact Area Fire southwest of Fort Greely midday Saturday and estimate the fire has grown to 5,000 acres, mostly to the northwest. Only five percent of the perimeter was actively burning, mostly smoldering along the northeast corner. It was lightly snowing during the flight. However, fire managers do not believe the fire received enough precipitation over the past two days with southerly chinook winds forecasted to start on Sunday. Warmer weather is forecasted and the winds are predicted to increase to 10-20 mph with gusts of up to 30 mph on Sunday. The wind is anticipated to increase to 20-30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph by Monday to bring the forecast close to red flag conditions. Smoke is likely to increase with the warmer weather and increased winds.
The fire is predominately burning in dry grass and dead trees left from the 2013 Mississippi Fire. It is in a limited protection area and is not immediately threatening any resources. Currently, the fire is burning in an area that is off-limits to firefighters due to the chance of unexploded ordinance on the ground. The BLM AFS Military Fire Management Zone is working with U.S. Army Alaska Garrison and the Alaska Division of Forestry (DOF) to determine the best course of action for the fire, especially with the forecasted increase in temperatures and wind. Another factor is the fuels are more receptive to burning during this time of the year – before grass turns green and the trees fully leaf out to significantly increasing the moisture in the air.
The remote fire, which was reported at about 1 p.m. on April 29, is burning west side of the braided Delta River opposite of Fort Greely within the Donnelly Training Area. It is burning roughly 1-1/2 miles south of a shear blade line near the boundary between U.S. Army Alaska Garrison and State of Alaska lands to the north.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
For more information, contact BLM AFS Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)356-5510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info