Chalkyitsik Complex: Lower temps, higher winds predicted for weekend

Chalkyitsik Complex #466 (Tractor Trail 2 – #348, Frozen Calf Fire – #367, Bearnose Hill Fire – #407, and Tettjajik Creek #424) – 357,175 acres – 235 personnel are assigned to the complex

Smoke rolls off the flats east of Chalkyitsik as firefighters burnout around a cabin site Friday evening, July 20, 2019. Assisted by a drone dropping ping-pong like plastic balls that ignite, crews were preparing for a future firing operation that will remove a large stand of black spruce ahead of the Bearnose Hill Fire (#407). Sam Harrel/Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team
Smoke rolls off the flats east of Chalkyitsik as firefighters burnout around a cabin site Friday evening, July 20, 2019. Assisted by a drone dropping ping-pong like plastic balls that ignite, crews were preparing for a future firing operation that will remove a large stand of black spruce ahead of the Bearnose Hill Fire (#407).
Sam Harrel/Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team

Temperatures cooled slightly across the Upper Yukon Flats and will continue to do so through the weekend, with hot and dry weather forecast to return next week. Gusty southwest winds and very dry conditions Friday resulted in active fire behavior on portions of all four fires of the Chalkyitsik Complex.

The Bearnose Hill Fire (#407) was most active where it continued to burn north after crossing the Draanjik River yesterday. It is now approximately three miles south of the Frozen Calf Fire. The Tractor Trail 2 Fire (#348) was moderately active, relative to yesterday, with backing and flanking on the southern side. On the Frozen Calf Fire (#367), the southwest corner of the fire was very active where extensive firing operations started Thursday evening. The north flank continues to spread toward the Porcupine River. It is now four-miles away from Herbert Village. The Tettjajik Creek Fire (#424) was active on the southeast corner and a small area on the north side.

A map for Saturday, July 20, of the fires in the Chalkyitsik Complex.
A map for Saturday, July 20, of the fires in the Chalkyitsik Complex.
For a PDF of this map, click HERE.

Firefighters continued burning out areas of fuel on Friday about 6 miles to the northeast of Chalkyitsik where crews finished firing late Thursday evening. Firefighters ignite thick stands of black spruce in the path of the Frozen Calf Fire to remove the volatile fuel type from the fire’s path. This ensures that it will not spread toward the village. Additional firing operations were conducted Friday evening at sites on the south side of the Draanjik River by hand crews and a drone equipped with a Plastic Sphere Dispenser (PSD) machine, which drop ping pong-like balls that ignite when they fall to the ground. firefighters are burning off of fire lines cut by crews south and east of Chalkyitsik to remove a large stand of black spruce ahead of the Bearnose Hill Fire. 

 Firefighters started pumps and sprinklers systems around cabin sites Friday on the Draanjik River as the Bearnose Hill Fire burned toward them. Other cabin sites up the river as far as Nelson Bluff are prepped and plumbed with sprinklers. Firefighters are prepared to burnout from those sites should the fires start to threaten them. Crews have also prepped Herbert Village on the Porcupine River and are completing point protection for sites on the Little Black River.

A fire area map for Saturday, July 20, of the fires in the Chalkyitsik Complex.
A fire area map for Saturday, July 20, of the fires in the Chalkyitsik Complex.
For a PDF of this map, click HERE.

KZPA 900 AM radio in Fort Yukon is airing information updates about the Chalkyitsik Complex of fires daily at 12:50 pm.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over Chalkyitsik and some of the surrounding area to provide a safe operating environment for firefighting aircraft. Go to https://tfr.faa.gov for more information on the TFR.

Mashii’ Choo

For a PDF version of this update, click HERE.

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