Hess Creek Fire Update 7/4/19

Precipitation fell off and on throughout the day on the #HessCreekFire, keeping fire behavior to a minimum. The perimeter grew to 98,400 acres. Firefighters were able to make significant progress on structure protection, and protection of the initially identified structures is almost complete. 

Record high temperatures predicted for the next five days will cause a warming and drying trend in this part of Interior Alaska. Vegetation will become very receptive to burning. Based on similar conditions when the Nevada Incident Management Team 2 took over command of the fire last week, firefighters are preparing for intense fire behavior and rapid growth. Anticipating this growth, crews are now concentrating their structure protection efforts in areas they expect the fire to reach several days from now.

With many recreationists making plans for the 4th of July, fire managers warn visitors to use extreme caution when entering the White Mountains National Recreation Area. Expected growth of the fire is toward Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River. Team 2 anticipates that the fire may eventually reach the river if current and expected fire conditions prevail. Be advised that smoke from this and other fires may interfere with air taxi pickup or other aviation-related plans.

Fire Behavior/Weather:  

Temperatures are predicted to reach record highs, with low relative humidity. Fire activity will likely increase significantly, making large runs in the black spruce. Smoke will be highly visible from the Elliott Highway and the Livengood area, and may affect the northern portion of the White Mountains National Recreation Area.

Public Awareness:

Due to the continued fire growth, the public should remain aware of current fire conditions, especially in the White Mountains National Recreation Area. Know before you go! See the most recent information on the Hess Creek Fire here: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6404/


Also, as we’re coming into the Fourth of July weekend, the public should be careful that their recreational activities do not ignite a fire. Extreme fire danger has led the BLM impose fire restrictions on its lands in east-central Alaska, including the White Mountains National Recreation Area. Until further notice, open fires are allowed only in fire rings in established campgrounds. More information on BLM’s fire restrictions is available at http://www.blm.gov/afs/fire-restrictions.

Fire Statistics

Location: 12 miles northeast of Livengood                                                           Start Date: June 21
Size:  98,400 acres                                                                                       Containment: 0%
Total Personnel: 60                                                                                   
Cause:  Lightning

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