Current Situation: Yesterday smoke receded to a level on the #HessCreekFire where fire personnel could fly the perimeter of the fire. During the flight, fire officials obtained a more accurate acreage and observed fire behavior, which allowed them to tailor future management actions. At approximately 8:30 p.m. the fire dropped behind the Fred Blixt public use cabin, and firefighters initiated defensive burnout operations that have so far protected the cabin. Winds continued to push the fire towards the Elliott Highway, where it finally crossed near MP 62. The fire is also impacting the mining camps and structures in and around Livengood. Crews continue to work with land and cabin owners to assess structures and assist with point protection efforts. Efforts will focus on minimizing the fire’s impact to the mining camps, recreational residences and other structures near the fire’s progression. At this time 25 structures are threatened, and three outbuildings have been destroyed.
Fire Behavior and Weather: The fire is actively moving to the south/southwest. Increased fire activity was observed within the black spruce yesterday. Fire behavior subsided as it moved into the hardwood forest fuel types. Moderate to high fire growth is expected for today.
Public Awareness: Individuals traveling the Elliott Highway should be aware the fire has crossed the highway. Heavy smoke will continue to impact the Elliott Highway as the fire backs down to the road in other areas. The Elliott Highway is still open, but access may be delayed due to fire operations occurring in the area. Visibility may be poor at times as smoke from the fire drops into the valley. Motorists should drive slowly and cautiously with lights on, especially when firefighters and firefighting equipment are present.
The Bureau of Land Management’s Central Yukon Field Office yesterday issued a Fire Prevention Order temporarily prohibiting open fires (except at established campgrounds), fireworks, exploding targets and explosives on the public lands it manages in central Alaska. The order, which goes into effect tonight at midnight and lasts until fire conditions improve, follows similar BLM fire restrictions for east-central Alaska.
Established BLM campgrounds where the Central Yukon Field Office is still allowing open fires in fire rings include 60 Mile, Arctic Circle, Marion Creek, and Galbraith Lake campgrounds along the Dalton Highway. The Fire Prevention Order does not prohibit the use of camp stoves, gas barbeques or grills, or charcoal briquette fires in fire-proof pans on BLM-managed public lands. More information on BLM’s fire restrictions is available at http://www.blm.gov/afs/fire-restrictions.
Location: Ignition 12 miles northeast of Livengood
Size: 149,428 acres