Tanana Zone Fire Update for 7-5-19

As predicted, the high pressure system over the central interior has strengthened.  Firefighters are bracing for temperatures expected into the 80’s and even to the low 90’s over the next few days. Relative humidities could be dropping into the mid-20% level in the eastern interior, particularly along the Yukon border. With this warming and drying trend, existing fires will begin to move and grow and new fires will start and grow quickly across the zone.

No new fires were reported in the Tanana Zone on Thursday.  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 number one priority fire for the Tanana Zone. It is located approximately 14 miles up the Cosna River south of Manley Hot Springs.  On Thursday the fire appeared very quiet early in the day, but later it put more smoke than it had in several days, as temperatures rose and relative humidities began dropping. There was no significant perimeter growth but pockets of heat in the interior of the fire occasionally showed signs of coming back to life. Fire size still stands at 20,025 acres. Firefighters have been engaging in protection of cabins and other structures. They have also constructed helispots near each group of structures. By the Friday evening, all cabins in the immediate area can be expected to have water pumps, hose and sprinklers in place.  Firefighters are using helicopters and a boat to move from site to site, clearing away brush and flammable material and putting the water handling equipment in place.

Foraker Fire (#389) –This fire is in Denali National Park 22 miles west of Kantishna and Wonder Lake.  It is in a Limited Suppression area, where no resources are threatened and fire is allowed to function in its natural ecological role. The six firefighters assigned report that the weather is clear and warm today; they expect some fire movement later in the day.  Their cabin protection activities are proceeding well. The official size remains at 9,894 acres, but new mapping is scheduled since the fire showed some activity late Thursday on the south end. The northern portion of the fire picked up a bit on Thursday, but made no significant runs; it gained no significant acreage on the north side. It may have extended only as much as ¼ mile further north.  That was a change from the past few days when the north end had shown no activity at all. This fire 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, 28 miles southwest of Allakaket. It has burned 10,889 acres since starting from a lightning strike on June 21. Sixteen smokejumpers are assigned to the fire. They reported late Thursday that the fire had received some light rain and they had observed minimal fire activity. They have been preparing cabins and allotments to be more resistant to oncoming fire as the upper Koyukuk region begins drying our. Today these firefighters are examining options for the most efficient way to protect a nearby Native allotment.

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