Hess Creek Fire update 7/6/19

With a very active day yesterday on the Hess Creek Fire, acreage was mapped at 104,218. Firefighters anticipate seeing another large increase in acreage again today, as weather and fuel conditions are prime for active fire behavior.

In preparation for significant fire growth, one tactic firefighters utilized yesterday was burnout. A burnout is a fire intentionally set by firefighters in front of the advancing fire to consume the fuel in its path. Fire managers had identified certain locations where this tactic would be valuable, and yesterday they implemented the operation. Crews on the ground set fire with drip torches or other ignition devices, successfully creating a fuel break between the advancing fire and values at risk. The burn operation was successful, and crews were safely able to reduce vegetation and create black space in very precise locations in advance of the fire front, slowing the fire’s progression.

Nevada Incident Management Team 2 anticipates today to be another high fire behavior day, and intends on utilizing more backfiring operations on other areas surrounding the fire. In addition to hand ignition on the ground, aerial ignition may also be utilized in remote areas. Be advised that backfire operations will cause increased smoke and may interfere with travel and recreation plans in the areas surrounding the Hess Creek Fire. Use extreme caution in the area.

Fire Behavior/Weather:  

Record high temperatures occurred yesterday and are predicted to continue. Fire activity will likely increase significantly, and the fire may make 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:

Fire managers warn visitors to use extreme caution. Expected growth of the fire is toward Beaver Creek Wild and Scenic River. Be advised that smoke from this and other fires may interfere with air taxi pickup or other aviation-related plans. Due to the continued fire growth, the public should remain aware of current fire conditions. Know before you go! See the most recent information on the Hess Creek Fire here: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6404/

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:  104,218 acres                                                                                    Containment: 0%
Total Personnel: 71                                                                                   
Cause:  Lightning

Categories: AK Fire Info

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