Tanana Zone Update: Firefighters Continue Work on Existing Fires and Brace for Forecasted Lightning

After days of hot and dry conditions throughout the Tanana Zone, firefighters are preparing for the likelihood of new fire starts with the dry lightning that is forecasted today. Significant fire activity occurred throughout the Zone on Tuesday including the Foraker Fire’s four-mile push to the south. The total area burned this year in the Tanana Zone is 77,120 acres, with 15 active fires burning and 22 fires year to date. Information about three of the staffed fires is summarized below:

Bergman Creek Fire (#312) – 28 miles southwest of Allakaket

Fire behavior on Tuesday was moderated by a low-level inversion, which also kept temperatures lower and relative humidity higher.  The 24 firefighters working on this fire have formed into a Type 3 organization to better address this fire’s high complexity due to numerous Native allotments and historic sites surrounding it to the northeast. Firefighters have ordered additional resources, including three boats that will be used to transport arriving crew members. Two more 20-person hand crews will arrive at the fire in the next couple of days. Today, eight of the 15 smokejumpers are demobilizing and will stage in Allakaket to be available for initial attack on new fires ignited by the anticipated lightning. The area burned has increased to 15,979 acres, an increase of 5,090 acres since July 8.

Lloyd Mountain Fire (#361) – 100 miles southwest of Manley Hot Springs

The fire pushed west against the Cosna River Tuesday. However, a combination of water drops conducted by helicopters and the fire running into wetlands helped to keep it from spotting across the river. Then, the wind shifted in the evening to out of the west and pushed fire away from the river. This caused the northwest portion of the fire to move about a quarter-mile east and produced some of the most active fire and smoke firefighters have seen on the fire so far. The 20 firefighters assigned to the Lloyd Mountain Fire are working to protect seven cabins two miles to the north of the fire, and three cabins within one mile of the southern lobe of the fire. The fire has burned 2,257 acres since last reported Monday, and now stands at an estimated 18,496 acres.

Foraker Fire (#389) – 22 miles west of Kantishna in Denali National Park and Preserve

The five firefighters staffing this fire are working to protect the cabin on Birch Creek. The crews worked well into the evening yesterday to complete a burn operation around the cabin. They plan to mop up around the cabin today. Meanwhile, while they were protecting the cabin, the fire spotted across Birch Creek and ran about 4 miles to the south-southwest. While the crew reports significant fire growth, the official acreage remains at 13,370 acres.

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