Hess Creek Fire Update 7/7/19

With wind conditions in their favor, firefighters completed burnout operations on the southwest perimeter of the Hess Creek Fire yesterday. The operations were highly successful in slowing the progression of the fire towards the Livengood area. The fire has increased to 115,000 acres.

As the fire moved toward Livengood, crews finalized their structure preparation by turning on sprinkler systems previously set up at cabins and other structures. After wetting parts of the fire perimeter and waiting for ideal weather conditions, crews began burnout operations with hand ignition, using drip torches. Firefighters also utilized aerial ignition from helicopters to burn in areas crews could not access. The ignition burned according to plan and achieved the intended results of reducing combustible vegetation in advance of the fire. As anticipated, the operations created a great deal of smoke, and in some areas ash, that dispersed in all directions. Personnel remained on-scene throughout the night to monitor the fire.

Due to the success of the yesterday’s operation, crews plan to take advantage of expected similar conditions today to continue burnout operations. These operations, focused in and around Livengood, will likely produce heavy smoke in the area.

Fire Behavior/Weather:  

Record high temperatures are predicted to continue. Fire activity will continue to be significant, and the fire may make large runs in the black spruce. Smoke will be highly visible from the Elliott and Dalton highways and the Livengood area, and will likely affect the northern portion of the White Mountains National Recreation Area.

Public Awareness:

Fire managers warn residents and visitors to use extreme caution. Expected growth of the fire is also 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 to 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:  115,000 acres                                                                                    Containment: 0%
Total Personnel: 71                                                                    
Cause:  Lightning

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