Firefighters enhance fuel break along Elliott Highway – Hess Creek Fire Update 7/18/19

Aerial footage of the two hot spots across the Elliott Highway

A type 3 team from Wyoming will begin arriving in Fairbanks over the next few days to replace the Southern Idaho team, which finishes their 14-day assignment on Saturday. The Wyoming team will attend an orientation with the Alaska Fire Service today and begin shadowing the Idaho team on Friday to ensure a smooth transition.

Fire operations reported seeing more smoke within the interior pockets of the Hess Creek Fire but no significant movement occurring on the west, southern or eastern perimeters. Crews will continue looking for and putting out hot spots in the area across from Elliot Highway, monitoring cabins, ensuring hoses and pumps are working, and filling  portable water tanks. 

Crews finished sawing and clearing fire line to the Cleary Creek drainage and placed hose lays yesterday. Once completed, crews started clearing brush and trees from along the highway to increase the fuel break. Crews are expected to finish the mile-long fuel break today, which will provide a strategic anchor point to conduct backfire operations if weather changes.

When able to fly, aerial resources have proven invaluable. During the tenure of the Idaho’s team command, the helicopter dropped 6,660 gallons of water, transported 24 individuals and logged just over 17 flight hours. Due to poor weather conditions, the Distributed Real-Time Infrared (DRTI) mission did not occur. Should weather conditions improve, the Air National Guard will try to obtain infrared data today.

Fire Behavior and Weather: Scattered and isolated thunderstorms occurred over the fire yesterday but did not supply any measurable moisture. However, the Incident Command Post received significant rain. Temperatures for today are expected to be in the mid-70s with relative humidity dropping to around 55% on Thursday. Winds are expected to remain light mostly from the southwest. Projected weather conditions for the weekend are cooler with higher relative humidity, which should further reduce fire activity.

Public Awareness: For current road conditions, go to the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities’ 511.alaska.gov website. Stay up-to-date on current air quality information by visiting https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/Alaska.  

Start: June 21, 2019
Cause: Lightning
Location: 12 miles northeast of Livengood, AK
Acreage: 170,295 acres
Percent Contained: 0%
Personnel: 93

Hours of operation: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Contact Fire Information: 208-269-4413
Email: HessCreekFire2019@gmail.com
Website: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6404
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BLMAFS

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