Mop up efforts continue on Oregon Lakes Fire

Mop up continues along the eight miles of fireline on the Oregon Lakes Fire.
  • Start Date: April 30, 2019
  • Acres: 15,173
  • Personnel assigned: 166
  • Crews assigned: 6
  • Cause: human, under investigation

DELTA JUNCTION, Alaska – Moderate to active fire behavior was observed along parts of the west perimeter during the warmest part of the day, but minimal activity was noted elsewhere. Slightly cooler temperatures and winds from the north allowed crews to make significant progress toward clearing, improving and maintaining firelines and installing structure protection measures along the north side of the Oregon Lakes fire.

Pumps have been installed and tested providing point protection. Some equipment used to build firelines is being backhauled. Hose lines are being pulled from some areas. Crews remain on the fireline as they test structure and point protection equipment in place, but will be transported to other areas if fire threatens or conditions change.

During the 2013 fire season, a structure protection plan was developed for the vicinity of Whitestone Farms, the Richardson Clearwater and the Southbank communities. If the need arises, the 2013 plan will allow fire managers to respond quickly and direct crews more efficiently and effectively.

The fire is burning within a military impact area that has been in use for more than 50 years, and unexploded ordinance is a significant safety concern for firefighters. Fighting the Oregon Lakes Fire with traditional methods has been challenging. Firefighter safety is the top priority. Command staff of Northwest Team 11 is working closely with Agency Administrators from the US Army, the State of Alaska and the Bureau of Land Management to identify long-term options to work safely on the Oregon Lakes Fire. Weather and fire behavior will be considered as decisions are made.

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:  Light showers and thunder cells are forecast today with southerly winds. Temperatures will reach a high of 70 degrees. Relative humidity will remain low, bottoming out near 27 percent. Rain showers are predicted for tonight, but will not be sufficient to reduce the overall dry dryness and probability of ignition.

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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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