Conditions begin to warm and dry over the Oregon Lakes Fire

A helicopter hovers above a field with a UTV in a cargo net hanging below, just as it is setting it down. The river and puffy white clouds are in the background.
A helicopter assigned to the fire was used to retrieve a UTV on June 2, 2019, that was no longer needed by personnel working on the fire. Photo by Maggie Demers.
  • Start Date: April 30, 2019
  • Acres: 31,850
  • Personnel assigned: 69
  • Crews assigned: 2 – (Gannett Glacier & Tanana Chiefs Type 2 IA)
  • Cause: human, under investigation

DELTA JUNCTION, Alaska –  After significant rain events, it will take several days for vegetation to dry out enough for fire managers to fully assess the residual heat within the perimeter of the Oregon Lakes Fire. Ultimately, time and weather will determine the impact that the weekend’s drenching rains had on the fire. The fire that was sheltered by thick trees or ground cover will smolder and burn until the area around it dries enough for it to move once again. 

While rain advantageously limited fire activity, efforts over the weekend were directed at property protection fuelbreaks and maintenance of pumps and sprinklers located at military observation points in anticipation of the upcoming warm and dry weather.

The BLM Alaska Fire Service North Star Type 2 fire crew will be assigned to the fire today to work with Gannett Glacier and Tanana Chiefs Type 2 IA crews to complete the property protection fuelbreaks and structure protection measures near groups of cabins located in the Richardson Clearwater and South Bank areas. Efforts at the community of Whitestone have been completed.

In general, fuelbreaks not only interrupt the continuity of vegetation, they provide ground and aerial resources an operational point to work from in defense of life and property. Not all fuelbreaks are created during wildland fire incidents. Some are proactively pre-planned, such as the shear blade line put in over the past five years by the U.S. Army Alaska in conjunction with the BLM Alaska Fire Service Military Zone, in recognition that this area is prone to rapidly growing wildland fires. With the exception of one small area, the fire has so far kept to the south of this line. Additional fuelbreaks still exist from when they were created in response to past incidents, including one created around the Whitestone community during the 2013 Mississippi Fire.

These areas of defensible space created for this fire could be necessary this summer if conditions are warm and dry and the fire has opportunity to advance. The Type 2 Alaska Interagency Management Team created a strategic plan in the early days of the fire to address additional response if warranted later. The Type 2 Northwest Team 11 Team then built upon this plan as the operational tactics changed.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place. The TFR is designed to protect aerial transportation and suppression efforts related to the fire from interference from private, commercial, military or drones of any kind.

For More Information

  • Incident phone number: (208) 254-1130
  • Incident email:
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Note: There has been no updated map since 5-31-19.

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