Hess Creek Fire Update 7/8/19

A massive inversion trapped smoke in Livengood and surrounding valleys after yesterday’s large growth on the #HessCreekFire. The fire was mapped last night at 145,321 acres, making it the country’s largest fire in 2019.

As the fire continued to advance towards Livengood, favorable wind conditions yesterday allowed firefighters to conduct burnout operations for a second day. As intended, the operation slowed the progression of the fire towards the Livengood community. Fire personnel remained on-scene throughout the night to monitor the fire. The vast size and fast growth of this fire, coupled with hot, dry weather conditions, make it impractical for fire managers to attempt full suppression of this fire. Rather, they are focusing firefighting efforts on public safety as well as protecting resources and values at risk

Today firefighters will continue to monitor the fire’s progression in the Livengood area. As the wind has shifts towards the Dalton Highway, the fire direction has slightly shifted as well. Firefighters have continued their structure protection plan, placing hoses and pumps at the structures directly along the Dalton Highway closest to Livengood. Burnout operations may continue as needed, if weather conditions are favorable.

Today is the last day of command for the Nevada Type 3 Team 2 Incident Management Team. Idaho Team 1 will be taking command of the fire tomorrow at 7:00 am.

Fire Behavior/Weather:  

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 and into Fairbanks. Record high temperatures are predicted to continue.

Public Awareness:

Fire managers warn residents and visitors to use extreme caution. Be advised that smoke from this and other fires may interfere with air taxi pickup or other aviation-related plans. Heavy smoke may at times make driving difficult on nearby sections of the Elliott and Dalton highways 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/. Check current road conditions at http://511.alaska.gov/.

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:  145,321 acres                                                                                   
Containment: 0%
Total Personnel: 72                                      
Cause:  Lightning

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