Tanana Zone Fire Update for 7-4-19

Today appears to be the final day of cloudy weather across the zone. As high pressure moves back in, most portions of the Tanana Zone will experience a fairly dramatic warming and drying trend. No rain is forecast. By Sunday, many places across the western and central Interior could again see temperatures approaching 90 degrees and relative humidities as low as the mid-20’s. Fire behavior indices are already beginning to reflect the weather change. Fuels are drying out and resistance to control is rising. Fire managers plan to do a lot of flying today to get the fires more accurately mapped and assist ground forces as they prepare for the intense activity expected to come over the next week or so.

No new fires were reported in the Tanana Zone Monday.  The total number of active fires remains at 15.  To date this year, 22 fires have burned a total of 48,990 acres across in zone.  Here is a rundown of some of the more significant or visible fires currently burning in the Tanana Zone:

Lloyd Mountain Fire (#361) – This fire is the #1 priority fire in the Tanana Zone. The size still stands at 20,025 acres. It is located approximately 14 miles south of the mouth of the Cosna River. The fire appeared quiet on Thursday morning. The smokejumpers have been moved back to Fairbanks for other assignments. The crew replacing them is engaged in point protection activities around cabins. Firefighters are using helicopters and a boat to move from site to site, clearing away brush and flammable material around cabins near the Cosna River and placing pumps and hoses to operate sprinkler systems. The fire received some light rain late on Wednesday and fire behavior has been subdued.   

Foraker Fire (#389) – Five firefighters are assigned to this 9,900-acre fire in Denali National Park. Their focus is to work on site preparation for protection of cabin sites in the area near the fire, 22 miles west of Kantishna. (This location is corrected from previous updates.) The fire spread on Wednesday on the south end. The fire moved a bit to the southeast but was not any closer to Slippery Creek or Birch Creek or the nearby cabins along those waterways.  Firefighters reported that the most active part of the fire was a good 6 to 7 miles from the Slippery Creek cabin site.  The north portion of the fire has not shown any sign of movement or activity for the last 2 days.  It was started by lightning on June 26. 

Bergman Creek Fire (#312) – This fire is south of the Koyukuk River approximately midway between Allakaket and Hughes.  It is mapped at 10,889 acres. It started from a  lightning strike on June 21. Eight smokejumpers arrived on the fire on Tuesday.  Light rain fell on the fire on Wednesday. The smoke jumpers have begun preparing cabins and allotments to be more resistant to oncoming fire when the area begins drying out and the fire moves again. The fire has not been particularly active for several days and the firefighters want to get the site preparation work done before the weather begins to warm up and dry out.    

Iksgiza Fire (#318) – This fire is 100 percent contained and will no longer be covered in this daily update. 

Information about these and other fires may be obtained by calling the Alaska Fire Service Fire Information number, 907-356-5511.  

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