Oregon Lakes Fire burns west

Firefighting supplies are delivered many ways on the Oregon Lakes Fire. A jet boat delivers supplies to firefighters protecting structures on the Richardson Clearwater River. Photo: Gannett Glacier Fire Crew
  • Start Date: April 30, 2019
  • Acres: 19,328
  • Personnel assigned: 130
  • Crews assigned: 2
  • Cause: human, under investigation

DELTA JUNCTION, Alaska – Forecasted high winds on Saturday evening and Sunday brought more activity to the western edge of the Oregon Lakes Fire as the fire increased by approximately 2,000 acres. Fire is primarily consuming dry grass and ground fuels.

Chinook winds gusting to 45 mph drove the fire west toward Military Observation Points in the Donnelly Training Area. Firefighters had previously set up sprinklers and pumps at the military points, and started the sprinklers before the fire arrived. Air operations plans to survey the area today.

Two aerial tankers applied a total of four loads of retardant and four single engine air tankers dumped water near the military observation points. Air operations also supported crews by delivering equipment and supplies, and conducted observation flights on the fire.

The Division of Forestry’s Pioneer Peak Hotshots and the BLM Alaska Fire Service’s Midnight Sun Hotshots have completed their 14-day assignments and will be transported out of the field today to demobilize. They will return home, rest and get ready for their next assignments. The Tanana Chiefs Type 2 Initial Attack crew was inserted by helicopter into South Bank on Sunday to begin their assignment.

Squads from the Tanana Chiefs and Gannett Glacier Type 2 Initial Attack crews will finalize point protection efforts underway at all three communities. Today crews will continue installing and testing hose, pumps and sprinklers near cabins and homes in the Richardson-Clearwater, South Bank and Whitestone areas. Crews are reducing vegetation that could carry fire near cabins, brushing out firelines and laying hose along the lines.

Most property owners in the Richardson-Clearwater and Whitestone communities have given permission for firefighters to work on their land. Fire managers still need to locate property, cabin, and homeowners owners in the South Bank area. Owners of cabins in the three communities who have not spoken with firefighters or fire managers should call (208) 254-1130.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains over the fire and the Whitestone, South Bank and Richardson Clearwater communities. The TFR is designed to prevent private, commercial, military and drones of any kind from interfering with aerial transportation or suppression efforts.

Weather Forecast: Red Flag warning is in effect until 10 tonight, but winds could continue until Tuesday. Temperatures today are predicted in the high 60s and relative humidity will bottom out at 24%. Chinook winds out of the south will continue today at speeds 15-30 mph with gusts to 50 mph.

For More Information

  • 2019_akmid_OregonLakes@firenet.gov
  • (208)254-1130
  • Inciweb.nwcg.gov
  • Facebook @BLMAFS
  • Twitter @BLM_AFS
  • Firewise: firewise.org

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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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