Cornucopia Complex formed to manage 10 fires in Upper Yukon Zone

The Portland National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) has assumed management of ten active fires in the Upper Yukon Zone. The Hadweenzic River Fire (#337), Tony Slough Fire (#493), Chandalar River Fire (#349) and East Fork Chandalar Fire (#572) are staffed and will be managed by the NIMO team.  Sixty-One Mountain 1 Fire (#622), Trail Creek (#621), Woodsman (#602), Coal River (#601), Thazzik Mountain (#594) and Pitka (#573) Fires are currently unstaffed but are being monitored within the complex.

Photo of helicopter and fuel bladder at the Village of Beaver. The helicopter is used for operations on the Tony Slough and Hadweenzic fires. Photo by Bea Day, Portland National Incident Management Organization (NIMO)
Photo of helicopter and fuel bladder at the Village of Beaver. The helicopter is used for operations on the Tony Slough and Hadweenzic fires. Photo by Bea Day, Portland National Incident Management Organization (NIMO)

It was warm in the Upper Yukon Zone yesterday. Temperatures today will continue a trend towards the warmer range and lower relative humidity. There is potential today for large fire growth as the Fine Fuels Moisture Content (FFMC) index in the Upper Yukon Zone is still very high. 

Wind gusts will gradually decline today but are still predicted to be in the 10-15 mph range and are expected to increase fire behavior. Wetting rain over the Upper Yukon region remains elusive, and air quality levels continue to be negatively affected by several fires in the area.  

Hadweenzic River Fire (#337) – 54,953 acres, 169 personnel

The fire became active during the afternoon as expected. Crews observed smoldering, creeping, isolated torching, and limited fire runs during the day as winds continued to dry out the landscape. Crews made additional helispots yesterday so helicopters could deliver crews and supplies at locations close to the fire line. Weather conditions for burning were not optimal so crews took advantage of the available time to lay additional hoseline to be used during burnout operations either today or Wednesday. Many variables factor into a go/no go decision to burn including: wind speed, wind direction, temperature, fuel types, fuel moisture,relative humidity, number of firefighters, hoselines, water resources, and if air support is available. The fire is burning less than 5 miles northeast of Nahshii Bible Camp, and about 19 miles west of Fort Yukon.

A Temporary Flight Restriction has been placed over the Hadweenzic and Tony Slough fires. Go to https://tfr.faa.gov for more information on the TFR. 

Map for July 22, 2019, for fires in the Upper Yukon Zone. For a pdf version of the map, click here.
Map for July 22, 2019, for fires in the Upper Yukon Zone. For a pdf version of the map, click here.

Tony Slough Fire (#493) – 4,937 acres, 48 personnel

Fire managers have positioned crews in the Tony Slough area to prepare for burnout operations as soon as conditions permit. Northeast winds and warm temperatures forecast for Wednesday may allow crews to burn along lines prepared during the past few days. Fire burned to the north yesterday, and crews worked to make sure the fire did not cross the current fire line. Additional crew and helicopter resources are added as needed allowing crews to protect structures and allotments. The fire is about 1 mile from the Bible camp and 8 miles northeast of the village of Beaver. 

A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place for the Hadweenzic and Tony Slough fires. Go to https://tfr.faa.gov for more information on the TFR.

Chandalar River Fire (#349) – 11,000 acres, 87 personnel

High winds yesterday caused flare ups on the southern and eastern edges of the fire. The allotments north of the fire perimeter were not threatened by these flare ups. All protections are in place around the allotments. With today’s northeast winds, there may be a chance to conduct the burnout. The fire is still holding about 1 mile southwest of Venetie, with the Chandalar River serving as a natural barrier between the fire and the village.

East Fork Chandalar Fire (#572) – 143 acres, 56 personnel

The fire is 80 percent contained. All containment lines held up to yesterday’s high winds and an afternoon flight by Operations showed virtually no activity. The wind is predicted to die down today, which should allow crews to continue searching for hot spots inside the fire perimeter and putting them out. The fire is still 25 miles northwest of Venetie. Eight smokejumpers assigned to this fire are returning to Fairbanks today.

Crater Creek (#585) – 4 acres, 8 personnel

The fire is out and is not part of the Cornucopia Complex. The smokejumpers who fought the fire will return to Fairbanks today for possible reassignment. This will be the last report on Crater Creek.

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.

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