Chalkyitsik Complex fires active; warmer weather ahead

Chalkyitsik Complex – #466 (Tractor Trail 2 – #348, Frozen Calf Fire – #367, Bearnose Hill Fire – #407, and Tettjajik Creek #424) – 422,023 acres – 276 personnel are assigned to the complex

Fire behavior was active on all four fires of the Chalkyitsik Complex but did not reach the extremes that were seen last week. Firing operations, conducted by a helicopter dropping plastic spheres that ignite, are slowly and methodically being conducted to close the gap between the Frozen Calf Fire (#367) and the Bearnose Hill Fire (#407) east of Chalkyitsik.

Jump-12, an Alaska Smokejumper Casa, makes it final approach to Chalkytsik, Alaska, as a plume rises from burnout operations on the Bearnose Hill Fire (#407) on Sunday afternoon, July 21, 2019. The aircraft was delivering personnel to the Chalkyitsik Complex. Ed Sanford/Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team
Jump-12, an Alaska Smokejumper Casa, makes it final approach to Chalkyitsik, Alaska, as a plume rises from burnout operations on the Bearnose Hill Fire (#407) on Sunday, July 21, 2019. The aircraft delivered personnel to the Chalkyitsik Complex. Ed Sanford/Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team
Chalkyitsik Complex Fire Map for July 22
Chalkyitsik Complex Fire Map for July 22 (For a PDF of this map, click HERE.)

Other areas of the Frozen Calf Fire were slowly creeping and backing into the wind but no significant runs took place. The fire perimeter still remains four-miles to the south of John Herberts Village. The Tractor Trail 2 Fire (#348) continued to spread slowly east toward the Little Black River. It was also active on its northwest corner spreading into the burn scar of the 2006 Grass Fire where it is expected to find unreceptive fuels. The Tettjajik Creek Fire (#424) had minimal activity on its southeast portion where it is slowly moving toward the Salmon Fork River.

Chalkyitsik Complex Fire Progression Map, July 22
Chalkyitsik Complex Fire Progression Map, July 22. For a PDF of this map, click HERE.)

Firefighters conducting burning operations along dozer lines running south from Chalkyitsik reached Ohtig Lake Sunday evening. They will continue around the east side of the lake Monday and eventually tie into the Bearnose Hill Fire southeast of the lake. Drones will be used to widen the burned perimeter to ensure the combined Bearnose Hill and Frozen Calf fires will have less fuel to burn in the direction of Chalkyitsik. This is preparation for an east – northeast wind later in the week, which the area has not seen in some time. 

Crews were divided into squads and placed at cabins along the Draanjik River to mop-up the fire’s edge along burnouts conducted to protect structures from advancing flames. The fire is about four-miles west of the Rotten Fish Slough area where cabins have been prepped with pumps and sprinklers. Crews have also prepped John Herberts Village on the Porcupine River and have completed point protection for sites on the Little Black River. Firefighters will next begin point protection work at the historic Salmon Village in case the fire continues to move east.

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.

Temperatures will be in the 80s on Monday with light southwest winds. This weather pattern is expected until mid-week when a chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms will move back in to the fire area.

Mashii’ Choo

For a PDF of this update, click HERE.

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