Rain moderates activity on the Oregon Lakes Fire

A helicopter slings a UTV to firefighters working on the Oregon Lakes Fire on Sunday morning, May 19, 2019.

DELTA JUNCTION, Alaska – Light rain, up to a .10-inch in places, moderated fire behavior yesterday giving firefighters a chance to improve the more than 8 miles of firebreak they have constructed along the northern edge of the Oregon Lakes Fire. Portions of the firebreak that were constructed with a dozer have been repaired to protect the permafrost and slow erosion.


The Type 2 Alaska Interagency Incident Management Green Team is approaching the end of their two-week assignment. On Tuesday, command of the fire will transfer to the Type 2 Pacific Northwest Team 11. The decision to request a management team from Outside is to have Alaska’s teams ready to respond to emerging incidents in the state during this period of high fire danger. The strategic plan developed by the Alaska team will ensure a smooth transition to the incoming PNW team. Alaska has a long relationship with our neighbors in the Pacific Northwest. For the past several seasons, Alaska has experienced minimal fire activity. However, the Northwest has experienced some of their largest fires in recent history and Alaska’s teams traveled there to help. Alaska’s firefighting crews will remain on the fireline and a several team members will remain to be integrated into the PNW team to assist with the complexities of operating in Alaska.Information box with fire statistics.

Military observation points at the western end of the primary containment line are being assessed and prepared for structure protection. Fire managers are planning to use natural barriers and pre-existing fuel breaks to burn farther west towards Delta Creek to protect military sites north of the Oklahoma Range. Firefighters are also preparing to extend their burn operation east past the Lester Line toward the Delta River. Removing the fuel ahead of the fire significantly reduces the chance it will spread. This work will keep the fire to the smallest footprint possible and decreases the threat to values at risk farther to the north and west.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fire area to prevent outside aircraft, including military aircraft, from interfering with the suppression efforts.

Forecasted weather: The thermal low-pressure trough north of the fire will persist through Monday. Winds will remain generally out of the south and there is a chance of rain showers this afternoon. Temperatures are forecast to increase but the current weather pattern is expected to continue into next week.

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