Fire crews make progress in the Tanana Zone

Fire behavior in the Tanana Zone was tempered by overcast conditions Friday and Saturday, allowing fire crews to make progress on protection activities. As a high pressure system moves toward central Interior, winds are expected to increase. Southwest winds 10-20 mph are expected during the day. Wind gusts up to 25 mph may fan flames on the east side of the Tanana Zone, especially in the Upper Yukon Zone, and may increase fire activity.

The five staffed fires are updated below:

Little Creek Fire (#616) – 135 acres, 56 personnel, started on July 18

Little movement has occurred on the lightning-ignited Little Creek Fire. Smokejumpers put saw line in on the western and southern flanks of the fire with emphasis to prevent the fire from spreading. The fire is spreading south away from Little Creek, burning intensely through spruce and hardwood, increasing the risk of spot fires. Firefighters will be completing hose lay around the entire perimeter of the fire today. 

Boney Creek Fire (#619) – 45 acres, 36 personnel, started on July 18

The Boney Creek Fire was started by lightning and is burning about 10 miles southwest of the village of Tanana and about 2 miles southeast of the nearest allotments. Crews working in overcast and slightly windy conditions have successfully put saw line and hose lays around nearly two-thirds of the fire so far and continue to make steady progress.

Sunset over forest and burning Boney Fire.
View over the Boney Fire (#619) as of July 19, 2019. Photo by Camila Roy, BLM.

Grouse Creek (#485) – 15,500 acres, 87 personnel, started on July 10 [includes Twin Ponds (#486) and Garnet Creek Fire (#576, 3,500 acres, started July 15)]

The Grouse Creek and Twin Pond fires are burning about 6 miles northeast of Rampart. Overcast skies and cool temperatures throughout the day on Saturday resulted in minimal fire activity. A Distributed Real-Time Infrared (DRTI) perimeter flight on Saturday mapped the fire and showed that it had not crossed Hess Creek. Crews continue to assess and protect structures and allotments, cutting brush and laying hose lines. Firefighters are making good progress on point protection of cabins, Fish Camp, the community of Rampart, and the mine to the north, and continue to improve the two-track road adjacent to the airstrip as a point of protection.

The Garnet Creek Fire, 12 miles southwest of Rampart, has burned 3,600 acres and is being monitored by the incident management team stationed at Rampart. Little fire activity was observed on Saturday. Weather permitting, the fire will monitoring by aircraft  today to determine fire activity and movement.

Smoke over the Grouse Creek Fire.
View of the Grouse Creek Fire (#485) from July 18, 2019. Photo by Donna Storch, Fire PIO.

Bergman Creek Fire (#312) – 42,300 acres, 8 personnel, started on July 21

The Bergman Creek Fire, located 28 miles southwest of Allakaket, is being monitored. The fire remains 2 to 3 miles from the nearest allotment. The north and northwest sides of the fire are holding in hardwood stands. A helicopter crew is assigned to continue monitoring the fire.

Foraker Fire (#389) – 46,294 acres, 5 personnel, started on June 26

The Foraker Fire, located in Denali National Park, is being monitored as it burns 18 miles west of Kantishna. Previous precipitation on the north side of the fire has decreased activity significantly. 

Information on wildfire smoke predictions can be found at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks website located at http://smoke.alaska.edu/.

For more information, contact the Alaska Interagency Fire Information Office at (208) 274-3316 or email 2019.AFS.FIRES@gmail.com.

About BLM Alaska Fire Service

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 244 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with a $10 million inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.

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