Upper Yukon Zone Fire Update for 7-1-19

Sunday afternoon brought cooler temperatures to the Upper Yukon Fire Zone, with wetting rains in a few areas. Another strong high-pressure ridge is expected to build over much of the state on Tuesday. This weather pattern is expected to hold fire weather indices for the Upper Yukon into High, Very High, and Extreme categories.

The Alaska State Fire Marshall’s Office and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry’s suspension on fireworks sales and use across much of the state remains in effect.

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

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

Black River Fire (#262) – This 15,478-acre fire is burning in a Limited Management Option area. In the last few days, the fire increased in size by 332 acres with the hot, windy weather. Firefighters noted growth to the east, which may run into marshy areas, potentially assisting with suppression. There are two known structures on two allotments some distance in the opposite direction from the fire front. Structure protection is underway, but dense hardwood stands are slowing progress. The North Star crew is en route to the fire to assist with structure protection.

Victoria Mountain Fire (#329) – This fire nearly doubled in size to 994 acres in the last few days, with a spot fire near structures. Firefighters contained the spot fire, and cooled a few remaining hot spots within the perimeter of the fire. Crews completed structure protection over the weekend and were reassigned to  higher priority fires on Monday.

Hadweenzic River Fire (#337) – Firefighters are making progress on this 11,144-acre fire. They have been increasingly successful in establishing hose lays around protection areas. The fire is located 4 to 5 miles away from the protected areas and forecast winds are expected to encourage fire spread away from ongoing structure protection operations. Firefighters are in contact with the 11 civilians who are currently occupying a bible camp compound located 9 miles west of the fire. 

Tiinkdhul Lake Fire (#342)  – This 50-acre fire started on June 22 and is located approximately 18 miles southeast of Chalkyitsik and just east of Tiinkdhul Lake. At the end of last week, the interior of the fire had high intensity heat, creating large, deep ash pits. Burned roots are causing black spruce trees to topple, 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. Crews are continually checking for spot fires in the surrounding unburned areas.

Tractor Trail 2 Fire (#348) – This fire is approximately 38 miles southeast of Fort Yukon in a Limited Management Option area. The hot, windy weather over the weekend caused large increases in fire spread, with continued tree torching throughout the day. The fire size was estimated at 2,289 acres on Sunday, with the fire front moving to the east on flat terrain, away from the nearest allotment approximately 4 miles away. Other allotments are approximately 10 to 15 miles from the fire.

Chandalar River Fire (#349) – This is currently a 700-acre fire burning in a Limited Management Option area. The fire was discovered on June 22 and has a 100% active fire perimeter. Sixteen smokejumpers are on scene working on fire suppression efforts and gathering information on local values that may be at risk. Protection plans were made and resource needs identified. Fire spread was primarily to the east yesterday.

Eagle Fire (#355) – This lightning-caused fire started on June 23 and is estimated at a little over 68 acres. Firefighters continue to make good progress towards containment despite some challenging conditions. Very steep slopes and mountainous terrains, numerous snags falling, and areas outside the containment line are causing some safety concerns. Smoke is settling in the river valley creating reduced visibility for aviation resources.

Christian River Fire (#379) – The 180-acre fire near the Christian River was detected on June 25 and is in a Full Management Option area. Firefighters completed several burnouts yesterday to help secure and widen established containment lines and additional resources were shuttled to the incident. Containment has increased to 30%.

Bearnose Hill Fire (#407) – This 200-acre fire was discovered late afternoon on June 29 and is burning in a Modified Management Option area located between the Tiinkdhul Lake (#342) and Tractor Trail 2 (#348) fires. The fire is being monitored as conditions allow. Closest structures are in the Chalkyitsik area nearly 10 miles northwest of the current fire location. Currently, resources are not assigned to this fire.

Sources of information on smoke can be found on the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center Air Quality web page

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

Categories: AK Fire Info

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