Upper Yukon Sees Highest Threat for Increased Fire Activity
Today’s holiday is the last day of cooler weather across the Interior. The Upper Yukon Fire Management Zone, along with Southcentral Alaska, has the highest threat for active fire spread and intense burning. The area is hot, dry and ready to burn, setting the stage for very high to extreme fire danger. As people celebrate Independence Day, be mindful that your activities do not start a new fire. Use sprinklers instead of sparklers this Fourth of July.
There are 24 fires burning within the Upper Yukon Fire Management Zone that covers the eastern Interior, including one new start Wednesday. Here is a breakdown of the fires of most interest burning in the Yukon Flats and surrounding areas:
Black River Fire (#262) – Firefighters continue to make good progress on structure protection in the vicinity of the Black River Fire burning 54 miles east of Circle. The fire is estimated at 22,651 acres, with hot spots throughout the interior and on the east end. A light rain fell on the fire area last night, temporarily slowing the fire front. Additional smokejumpers have arrived to assist with structure protection and prepare for potential burnout operations.
Hadweenzic River Fire (#337) – The weather has moderated in the area some cloud cover. The sun was already starting to show between the clouds and the winds were starting to increase Thursday morning Firefighters continue point protection efforts on the western side of the eastern allotment. Firefighters are waiting for favorable weather conditions to begin burning out around several allotments near this 27,161-acre fire burning 35 miles west of Fort Yukon.
Tiinkdhul Lake Fire (#342) – Crews completed mop up today and being reassigned to the Bearnose Hill Fire (#407) and other fires in the area. This 45-acre fire, located approximately 18 miles southeast of Chalkyitsik and just east of Tiinkdhul Lake, was declared fully contained on June 30.
Tractor Trail 2 Fire (#348) – This fire was last reported moving toward the north, into a previously burned area. The fire size is estimated at 10,055 acres, an increase of 225 acres since last mapped on July 2. The 12 firefighters working on this fire continue to plan for protection needs, clear perimeters of allotments, and remove vegetation around cabins in the area. The fire is approximately 38 miles southeast of Fort Yukon.
Chandalar River Fire (#349) – Firefighters are still working on protecting several allotments in the area near where the fire is burning across the Chandalar River from Venetie. Weather has been cloudy, but has not produced precipitation. Firefighters are waiting for favorable weather conditions to begin burnout operations. To assist with the burn, the Sawtooth Hotshot Crew, currently on the Christian River Fire (#379) 42 miles northeast of Venetie, is expected to be reassigned to the Chandalar River Fire (#349) today. The fire is still estimated at 75 acres.
Eagle Fire (#355) – This lightning-caused fire started June 23 and is estimated at 45 acres. Firefighters estimate 80% containment. Firefighters are still working diligently on mop up efforts. The fire is creeping with minimal activity on the perimeter. There is some heat remaining within the interior. There is no change in containment, although the firefighters did get around the perimeter. It is expected that the crews on the incident will be able to call for 100% containment by end of shift on Friday.
Christian River Fire (#379) – Firefighters now estimate the fire is 90% contained. The Sawtooth Hotshots Crew were reassigned to the Chandalar River Fire (#349) today to assist with burn operations around several allotments. The Folsom Lake Type 2 Initial Attack Crew will be reassigned to another incident. Weather conditions were reported as overcast with cooler temperatures in the 60s with no precipitation.
Bearnose Hill Fire (#407) – This size of this fire is estimated at 1,744 acres, an increase of 244 acres since it was last mapped on July 2. The fire is burning approximately 11 miles from Chalkyitsik between the Tiinkdhul Lake (#342) and Tractor Trail 2 (#348) fires. Today, two more crews, including the BLM Alaska Fire Service Chena Hotshots, are joining firefighters already working on protecting several allotments surrounding a lake approximately 4 miles south of Chalkyitsik.
Sources of information on smoke are located 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.