The Boundary River Fire (#362) approximately 40 miles southeast of Tok has grown to an estimated 8,000 acres, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry.
The fire was started by lightning on June 23 and is burning west of the Nabesna River approximately 10 miles southwest of the village of Northway. The fire grew rapidly and the initial attack response was not able to halt the fire spread.
The fire is burning in black spruce, tundra and short grass and is currently described as “extremely active,” though a smoke inversion on Friday helped moderate fire behavior. The fire perimeter was 60 percent active on Friday and was spreading west and northwest. The fire grew an estimated 2,000 acres Friday.
The has received little attention to this point due to limited resources and higher priority fires. However, a Type 3 incident management team took command of the fire earlier this week and additional resources are being mobilized to the fire. Two Type 2 initial attack crews were inserted into the fire by helicopter on Friday to establish an anchor point at the heel of the fire and to begin direct attack along the northeast flank of the fire. A Type 2 hand crew from Kalskag is working on point protection of cabins and Native allotments south of the fire. There are currently approximately 100 personnel working on the fire.
The fire is burning about 1 mile west of the Nabesna River and 1 ½ miles northeast of the 2018 Taxisalda Hill Fire that burned 27,194 acres. Saw lines were cut around the two Native allotments during last year’s Taxisalda Hill Fire and point protection measures were also taken around the RAWS station.
The McArthur Creek Fire (#133) near the Alaska/Canada border, meanwhile, is now estimated at 15,232 acres. The fire was started by lightning on May 21 in a Limited protection area and no suppression has been taken because it does not pose a threat. The fire is approximately 28 miles east of Northway. The fire continues to actively burn and is most active in the northeast and southwest. A small group of firefighters was flown in on Friday to activate pumps if the fire pushes toward the values at risk. Alaska fire managers are working with Canadian fire managers to monitor the fire’s growth.