BLM AFS responded to new lightning-caused fires in Yukon Flats

After several days of hot, dry weather in the Yukon Flats area, lightning triggered new fires including five that are burning within 18 miles east of Chalyitsik. Of the 24 new fires in Alaska Saturday, 15 were located in the BLM Alaska Fire Service Upper Yukon Zone that runs from between the international border and the Dalton Highway, from Fortymile country to the North Slope. There will be an increase in activity at the BLM AFS Fort Yukon Fire Station as firefighters and aircraft respond to these new fires.

Map of fires burning around Fort Yukon and Chalkyitsik on June 23, 2019.

Map of fires burning around Fort Yukon and Chalkyitsik on June 23, 2019.

Here’s a rundown of new fires in the BLM AFS Upper Yukon Fire Management Zone near Chalkyitsik:

  • East Tiinkdhul Lake Fire (#353) –This fire is approximately 13 miles southeast of Chalkyitsik and just west of Tiinkdhul Lake. This fire was discovered at 8:50 p.m. by two water-scooping Fire Boss aircraft as they were responding to another fire in the area. The two airplanes were able to drop a couple of loads of water on the fire and knock it down initially. The fire is in a full suppression area and at the time it was reported as 1 acre. There were no other resources available to respond.
  • Tiinkdhul Lake Fire (#342)— Four smokejumpers are working on this fire located approximately 18 miles southeast of Chalkyitsik and just east of Tiinkdhul Lake. It was detected by a helicopter at about 5:15 p.m. It was reported as 5 acres and burning within a mile of a Native Allotment.
  • Big Hill Fire (#343) – Is buring approximately 12 miles east of Chalkyitsik. The four smokejumpers on the fire held the fire overnight to 6.5 acres. They reported the fire was creeping and smoldering. They will work to secure edges before demobilizing to be used on other fires in the area.
  • Riffle Fire (#341) –This fire was spotted at 5:30 p.m. by a helicopter flying a detection route in the area approximately 11.8 miles east of Chalkyitsik and just north of the Big Hill Fire. It was reported at 3 acres, 50 percent active and burning in spruce and tundra in a full management option area. Because there were limited resources available due to other statewide fires, this fire will be monitored until resources are available or fire conditions change.  The fire is burning approximately 3.3 miles from the nearest Native allotment along the Draanjik River.
  • Red Bluff Fire (#339) – This fire was reported at 4:15 p.m. by numerous people in the area. Due to the fire immediately threatening a nearby Native allotment, a helitack crew with four firefighters responded to this five-acre fire burning approximately eight miles east of Chalkyitsik.

Other lightning-caused fires that are being monitored by Upper Yukon Zone personnel:

  • Old Man Lake Fire (#354) – This one-acre fire was burning approximately 15 miles northeast of Fort Yukon.
  • Chandalar River Fire (#349) – This 1-acre fire is located approximately 4.5 miles southwest of Venetie.
  • Fish Creek Fire (#350) – This 1-acre fire is located approximately 15 miles northeast of Beaver.
  • Tractor Trail 2 Fire (#348) – This 1-acre fire is burning approximately 38 miles southeast of Fort Yukon.
  • Black River 2 Fire (#347) – This 1-acre is burning approximately 38.5 miles southeast of Fort Yukon.
  • Brigham Creek Fire (#345) – This .1-acre fire is located approximately 32.5 miles southeast of Livengood.
  • Hadweenzic River Fire (#337) – This 500-acre fire was reported as very active and burning approximately 35 miles west of Fort Yukon. It is burning in a limited management option area and is not threatening any structures, Native allotments or valuable resources.
  • Steese Highway Fire (#334) – This .1-acre fire is located approximately 15 miles north of Chena Hot Springs.
  • Preacher Creek Fire (#333) – This .1-acre approximately 35 miles northwest of Circle Hot Springs.
  • Victoria Mountain (#329) – This 30-acre fire is burning approximately 63 miles northwest of Central.

For more information, contact the Alaska Interagency Fire Information Office at (907)356-5511 or email BLM Alaska Fire Service Beth Ipsen at eipsen@blm.gov.

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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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