Cornucopia Complex Fire Update

All of the fires in the Cornucopia Complex were active yesterday but no significant movement was seen. Nearly all air operations were shut down because smoke made flying unsafe. Acreage on the fires listed below has not changed as the fires could not be flown and remapped due to smoke.

Fire viewed from airplane window
Fire from the Cornucopia Complex as of July 23, 2019.

Weather on the Cornucopia Complex today will continue its trend toward hot and dry with 84 degrees and humidity about 36%.  There is some chance of isolated showers this morning and winds out of the east at 5 to 15 mph. In the afternoon, there is the potential of some thunderstorms which are likely to bring gusty and erratic winds which can affect fire behavior, but very little precipitation and a chance of lightning. More thunderstorms are forecasted for Thursday with gusty winds out of the west and outflow winds from passing thunder cells could mean problems for firefighters. Winds  today and tomorrow will likely affect behavior on different ends of the fires, sometimes helping firefighters, sometimes not.

Hadweenzic River Fire (#337) – 58,363 acres, 0% contained, 162 personnel

The only significant firefighting yesterday was on the Hadweenzic River Fire as crews conducted a late afternoon firing operation on the west end, closest to Nahshii Bible Camp.  The operation went well and they made good progress burning fuels between the main fire and the structures there as well as tying the main fire to the Yukon River to slow its advance. There are 56 people at the camp, some adults and some youth. The west end of the #337 fire is burning less than 8 miles northeast of the camp. 

The east end of the #337 fire is about 19 miles from Fort Yukon. Crews are hopeful that wind from the east will allow them to burnout today and protect allotments to the east. Winds on Thursday are expected to be from the west which would not support any firing operations. The Black HIlls fire use module that has been on the fire will return to Fort Yukon by boat today, and then fly to Fairbanks

Tony Slough Fire (#493) – 6,285 acres, 0% contained, 46 personnel

Crews had already spent a few days prepping the Nahshii Bible Camp with hose lines but did not have the right weather to begin burnout operations Tuesday. Burnout efforts will be attempted again today, weather permitting. The Tony Slough Fire is 1.7 miles from the bible camp and about 8 miles northeast of the village of Beaver.

A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place for the Hadweenzic River and Tony Slough fires. Go to

https://tfr.faa.gov for more information on the TFR.

Cornucopia Complex wildfires as of July 24, 2019.
Cornucopia Complex wildfires as of July 24, 2019.

Chandalar River Fire (#349) – 11,162 acres, 0% contained, 65 personnel

The Chandalar River Fire west of Venetie remained active Tuesday, like all the other fires in the complex, because of the hot, dry conditions, however, no significant movement occurred.  Firefighters are hoping weather conditions today will be conducive for a burnout operation to protect the allotments along the 

Chandalar River. The allotments have been prepped and ready for days, awaiting the right conditions for safe firing. This fire is the one to watch today as a wind from the east is predicted and could push the fire toward nearby allotments, not a favorable alignment for a burnout.

A new crew, the Elk Mountain Hotshots, will be flown to Venetie this morning (if the smoke allows for air operations). They will take over from the Union Hotshots who leave Friday. The fire is still holding about 1 mile southwest of Venetie and remains across the river from the community.

East Fork Chandalar Fire (#572) – 190 acres, 90% contained, 53 personnel

The East Fork Chandalar Fire has had no heat or growth in a few days so,  at the end of the day today, the local Yukon Flats crew will be demobilized and head home, if air operations allow. Other crews will leave this fire and be assigned to other fires in the complex. The fire is still 25 miles northwest of Venetie and west of the East Fork of the Chandalar River.

Multiple sources of information on smoke are located on the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center Air

Quality web page https://fire.ak.blm.gov/predsvcs/airquality.php.

For more information, contact the Cornucopia Complex Information Office by email c.complex2019@gmail.com. We will have a phone number soon.

The Portland National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) has management of 10 activefires 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. Unstaffed fires that are being monitored within the complex: Sixty-One Mountain 1 Fire (#622), Trail Creek (#621), Woodsman (#602), Coal River (#601), Thazzik Mountain (#594) and Pitka (#573)

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