Upper Yukon Fire Zone: Little Fire Growth on Monday – Dry, Windy Conditions Return

Rising winds on Monday and higher temperatures forecast throughout this week will likely mean an increase in fire activity throughout the eastern interior, with light winds moving the smoke to the northeast.

There are 24 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. The North Star crew arrived to assist with structure protection and is making good progress. Little rain fell on this fire , with dry conditions persisting. The fire continues to move to the east, which may run into marshy areas, potentially halting the spread. There are two known structures on two allotments some distance in the opposite direction from the fire front.

Victoria Mountain Fire (#329) – The fire grew to 1,440 acres in the last few days, with a spot fire near structures. Firefighters contained the spot fire, and cooled a few remaining hot spots. Crews completed structure protection at one site over the weekend and at a second site with multiple structures on Monday. Firefighters are being reassigned to other high priority fires while the Alaska Fire Service continues monitoring fire progression as warm, dry conditions persist.

Hadweenzic River Fire (#337) – Firefighters are making progress on this 13,307-acre fire. Firefighters continue preparation of control lines around allotments in the area of the fire. Burnouts were not conducted yesterday due to unfavorable winds. Fire remained active in the interior with some growth to the east and northeast yesterday. 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 11 people at a bible camp compound located 9 miles west of the fire. The Midnight Sun Hotshot crew will be reassigned from the Hadweenzic River Fire (#337) to assist with the Chandalar River Fire (#349) today.

 Tiinkdhul Lake Fire (#342)  – This 45-acre fire was declared fully contained on June 30. It is located approximately 18 miles southeast of Chalkyitsik and just east of Tiinkdhul Lake. Mop up continues on the interior of the fire where high intensity heat created large, deep ash pits. Burned roots are causing black spruce trees to topple, creating heavily jackstrawed areas. Crews continue searching for hot spots and clearing trees on the perimeter of the fire.

Chandalar River Fire (#349) – This is currently a 700-acre fire burning in a Limited Management Option area. Firefighters saw an increase in winds today. Heavy, falling snags remain a safety concern on the incident. Firefighters are prepping and waiting for optimal conditions for burnout operations. The Midnight Sun Hotshot Crew will arrive on the Chandalar River Fire (#349) today to assist with fire operations. Winds today are expected to be light and variable with no precipitation in the forecast.

Eagle Fire (#355) – This lightning-caused fire started on June 23 and is estimated at a little over 68 acres. Firefighters estimate no change in containment.  Hose and water have been put in around the entire perimeter.  There is still considerable heat on the fire’s right flank as the fire burns into deep, heavy fuels. Firefighters are searching for hot spots on the left flank of the fire for hot spots. Steep and rugged terrain and heavy snags throughout the area require slow and safe progression.

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. Despite a sustained 15mph wind out of the southwest yesterday, firefighters on the Christian River Fire (#379) were able to secure the fire perimeter and begin mop up operations. Firefighters estimate the fire is now 45% contained.

Bearnose Hill Fire (#407) – This fire has grown in size to 1,500 acres. The fire was discovered late afternoon on June 29 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.

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