Upper Yukon Fire Zone: Fire Danger Remains High, Air Quality Advisories in Effect

Weather conditions in Upper Yukon remain extremely warm, increasing the chances for more active fire behavior. Some rain is expected on Sunday due to a front moving east across the Interior. 

There are 28 fires burning within the Upper Yukon Fire Management Zone that covers the eastern Interior.

Here is a breakdown of the lightning-caused fires of most interest burning in the Yukon Flats and surrounding areas:

Rolland Linus of Allakaket taps up a set of dolmars gas can for chainsaws while he and a squad of BLM AFS emergency firefighters mobilize for a Black River Fire (#262) burning in the Upper Yukon Zone on June 28, 2019. Nicholas Cleveland of Hughes, in back, also helps organize the squad's gear.
Rolland Linus of Allakaket taps up a set of dolmars gas can for chainsaws while he and a squad of BLM AFS emergency firefighters mobilize for a Black River Fire (#262) burning in the Upper Yukon Zone on June 28, 2019. Nicholas Cleveland of Hughes, in back, also helps organize the squad’s gear.

Black River Fire (#262) – This 16,500-acre fire is burning in a Limited Management Option area with a 60% active fire perimeter. Fire behavior is described as running with continuous crowning on the southeast side of the fire. The fire experienced substantial growth of over 8,000 acres. Firefighters arrived at the fire late last night to begin work on fire suppression and to assess structure protection needs.

Victoria Mountain Fire (#329) – This 500-acre fire is located in a Full Management Option area, but was in monitor status awaiting resources until today. Eight smokejumpers deployed to the fire discovered a 3.5-acre spot fire across Victoria Creek that was threatening a cultural historic site. They secured the spot fire without impact to the cultural historic site.

Hadweenzic River Fire (#337) – Firefighters for this 7,459-acre fire finished securing the western edge of the nearest allotment yesterday. Work continues on the eastern allotment. The fire is currently 5 miles away from the nearest allotment and 9 miles away from an occupied camp. Firefighters are using available natural barriers to help secure fire lines around Native allotments.

Tiinkdhul Lake Fire (#342)  –The 50-acre fire started on June 22 and is located approximately 18 miles southeast of Chalkyitsik and just east of Tiinkdhul Lake. In recent days, the interior of the fire had high intensity heat, creating large, deep ash pits. Black spruce trees continue to tip over creating heavily jackstrawed areas. Crews are working on cooling those hot spots and clearing trees on the perimeter of the fire. There are 31 firefighters on the fire, many of whom are continually checking for spot fires in the surrounding unburned areas. Firefighters continue to make good progress; on Friday, containment was estimated at 50%.

Tractor Trail 2 Fire (#348) – This 20-acre fire is 38 miles southeast of Fort Yukon, and has an adjacent 8-acre spot fire. The Tractor Trail 2 Fire is in a Limited Management Option area. Most fire activity is moving to the southeast, away from a Native allotment, approximately 5 miles northwest of the fire’s edge. Crews are continuing to cut line near the allotment. Clearing remains at a slow pace due to overly thick vegetation. Multiple checkpoints have been established between the fire and the closest allotment. All other allotments are at least 10 to 15 miles away in several directions from the fire.

Eagle Fire (#355) – This lightning caused fire started on June 23 and is estimated at a little over 68 acres. Crews have steadily worked the fire. Smoke is persisting in the river valley with steep terrain creating safety concerns. Two additional hotshot crews arrived to assist with containment efforts on Thursday bringing the total number of firefighters to 44. A local boat operator continues to assist with resupply efforts for firefighters across the Yukon River where the fire continues to burn in very steep, rocky terrain. The fire is now estimated at 17% containment.

Christian River Fire (#379) – The 150-acre fire near the Christian River was detected on June 25 and is in a Full Management Option area. The fire is burning in steep, rocky terrain similar to mountainous fires in the Lower 48 making fire containment difficult. The fire is actively burning, with periodic runs and tree torching. Firefighter safety remains the number one priority; however, full suppression efforts are underway as firefighters work to place hose lays to help with fire containment. The fire is estimated at 10-15% containment.

For more information, contact the Alaska Interagency Fire Information Office at (907)356-5511 or email 2019.AFS.FIRES@gmail.com.

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