Structure and Allotment Protection Efforts Continue across the Tanana Zone

High temperatures and low humidity continue across the Tanana Zone. Fuels are very dry and carry fire readily. Weather, smoke cover, topography, and the dynamics of large fires are influencing fire behavior.

No new fires were reported in the Tanana Zone. 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 highest priority fire for the Tanana Zone. It is located approximately 14 miles up the Cosna River, south of Manley Hot Springs.  Fire activity picked up a bit on Saturday. Firefighters reported that the winds were erratic and blowing from nearly all directions at one time or another. The south end of the fire had a north wind on it late in the day. The most active portion of the fire for most of the afternoon was the northeast corner, where the fire became established in two patches of somewhat denser fuels. Firefighters at Helpmejack Lake off the southeast corner started up the pumps and wet down the area around structures. If the fire gets close to this site on Sunday, crew members will again wet down the area to help it withstand oncoming fire. This morning firefighters reported that the fire was “fairly mellow” but progessing through a riparian area on the south end. Conditions there are smoky, but if fire activity were to pick up under the temperature inversion, firefighters are prepared to defend the nearest cabins by running sprinklers and burning out around the cabins as necessary. Fire size now officially stands at 16,239 acres, but this figure could change if the fire is mapped today.  

Foraker Fire (#389) –This fire is in Denali National Park, 22 miles west of Kantishna and Wonder Lake. It is burning in a Limited Management area where fire is allowed to function in its natural ecological role. Six firefighters are currently assigned to the fire to protect structures near the fire. Weather in the area on Sunday morning was clearer than in much of the Interior due to winds near the Alaska Range. Both the west and south sides of the fire were active on Saturday night and are fairly active this morning. On the west side, the fire is backing slowly toward a Birch Creek cabin that is slated for protection. The fire is still 2.5 miles away, but firefighters plan to fly to the cabin and may start pumps to soak the area around it if the fire becomes more active and begins to close in on the cabin. The official size of the fire is 11,970 acres. It will be mapped again today. 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. An additional crew and helicopter are due to arrive Sunday to help in these efforts. The closest Native Allotments are still about 2.5 miles from the fire. Fire behavior picked up considerably on Saturday evening.  The middle portion of the south end of the fire became active early, and a convection column had formed by 7 p.m. Firefighters also observed increased fire activity on the northeast corner. The fire did not grow significantly Saturday in terms of perimeter spread. All of the smokejumpers moved camp to be more strategically located near the next cabins and allotments they are preparing for oncoming fire.

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.

 

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