Tanana Zone Fire Update for 7-6-19

Hot Dry Conditions Test Firelines Across Tanana Zone

A high pressure ridge aloft is keeping temperatures high and relative humidities low across the Tanana Zone. The result is that fuels continue to dry out. More high temperatures are expected over the next few day. As expected, existing fires are beginning to move and grow. Weather, smoke cover, and topography will continue to dictate fire behavior across the zone.

No new fires were reported in the Tanana Zone on Friday. The total number of active fires remains at 15.  To date this year, 22 fires have now burned a total of 54,224 acres across the zone. Here is a rundown of some of the more significant fires currently burning in the Tanana Zone:

Lloyd Mountain Fire (#361) – This fire is the top priority fire for the Tanana Zone. It is located approximately 14 miles up the Cosna River, south of Manley Hot Springs.  The fire “woke up” a bit Friday, with a convection column showing at around 4 p.m. That heat was from pockets of heavier fuels, primarily white spruce, on the northeast side and quite a ways from the nearest private lands and structures slated for protection. Firefighters have all their pumps, hoses, and sprinklers in place. Firefighters estimate the fire is still about 3 miles from assets to be protected. If the fire comes in close proximity to any of the protected areas, crews could begin to burn out around those points. The fire has the potential to move further east today, but this movement is not expected to cause significant issues or problems. The fire is now mapped at 16,239 acres.   

Foraker Fire (#389) –This fire is in Denali National Park, 22 miles west of Kantishna and Wonder Lake.  It is burning in a Limited Suppression area, where fire is allowed to function in its natural ecological role. The six firefighters assigned report that the weather is clear and warm again this morning.  They again expect fire activity to increase later in the day. Cabin protection activities are continuing. About 50 percent of the fire is active The inactive part is on the west side.  The south end of the fire may have moved as much as a mile further south. The north end was also active, although it was a backing fire, slowly burning into the north wind.  The most growth seemed to be on the west side, with the fire moving as much as a half mile closer to Birch Creek.  Firefighters estimate the fire is now within 3 miles of the Birch Creek cabin. If the fire is active there today, firefighters plans to fly to the cabin and start pumps and sprinklers. They are also considering burning out vegetation around the cabin. The official size of the fire is 11,970 acres. 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 working to protect cabins and allotments in the area. The closest allotments are about 2 ½ miles from the fire.  Fire behanvior was moderate Friday, with most of the observed heat on the north and northeastern portions of the fire. Without significant rain ,fuels remain very dry and rapid fire spread and crown fire behavior is possible.  The Dog Island cabin has been prepped with hoses and sprinklers.

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