Galena Zone: Firefighters prepare for firing operations on fire east of Kobuk

Photo of Alaska smokejumpers from left to right, Brandon Kobayashi, Russell Kennedy, Kristopher Dudley conducting a burn operation in the marsh below Jim Magdanz and Susan Georgette's cabin on the Mauneluk River Wednesday on July 17, 2019. Photo courtesy Jim Magdanz
Alaska smokejumpers from left to right, Brandon Kobayashi, Russell Kennedy, Kristopher Dudley conducting a burn operation in the marsh below Jim Magdanz and Susan Georgette’s cabin on the Mauneluk River Wednesday on July 17, 2019. Photo courtesy Jim Magdanz

Firefighters built fuelbreaks with hose lays around structures and native allotments in preparation for  burning operations on the Mauneluk River Fire (#535). With fireline securing the north and south sides, the burnout is planned to hold the fire in place. The lighting-caused fire started on July 12 has spread across 8,297 acres on the west side of the Mauneluk River close to the confluence with the Kobuk River 13 miles east of Kobuk.

Firefighters constructed this firebreak on Jim Magdanz and Susan Georgette's property, by burning on the left of the saw line. Jim and Kathi Dodson cabin in background. Looking north at Uman Mountain. Mauneluk River in right center. Both cabins were saved. Photo courtesy Jim Magdanz
Firefighters constructed this firebreak on Jim Magdanz and Susan Georgette’s property, by burning on the left of the saw line. Jim and Kathi Dodson cabin in background. Looking north at Uman Mountain. Mauneluk River in right center. Both cabins were saved. Photo courtesy Jim Magdanz

About 40 firefighters including smokejumpers, the Twin Falls (Idaho) helitack firefighters and the BLM Alaska Fire Service Midnight Sun Interagency Hotshot Crew are using helicopters and boats while working half to protect fish camps, Native allotments and structures along both sides of the Mauneluk and Kobuk rivers. The fire has been driven by wind through dry spruce and open tundra.

The hotshots are directly working on the west flank of the fire to secure it in a rocky area to use the natural barrier to confine the fire. The fire area received intermittent light rain over the last several days. Several days of drier weather are expected, which will be more conducive to burning operations.    

Firefighters constructed this firebreak on Jim Magdanz and Susan Georgette's property, by burning on the left of the saw line. Jim and Kathi Dodson cabin in background. Looking north at Uman Mountain. Mauneluk River in right center. Both cabins were saved. Photo courtesy Jim Magdanz
Firefighters constructed this firebreak on Jim Magdanz and Susan Georgette’s property, by burning on the left of the saw line. Jim and Kathi Dodson cabin in background. Looking north at Uman Mountain. Mauneluk River in right center. Both cabins were saved. Photo courtesy Jim Magdanz

Firefighters built fuelbreaks with hose lays around structures and native allotments in preparation for  burning operations on the Mauneluk River Fire (#535). With fireline securing the north and south sides, the burnout is planned to hold the fire in place. The lighting-caused fire started on July 12 has spread across 8,297 acres on the west side of the Mauneluk River close to the confluence with the Kobuk River 13 miles east of Kobuk. 

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.

Map of the Mauneluk River Fire on July 22, 2019
Map of the Mauneluk River Fire on July 22, 2019

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