Upper Yukon Zone: Higher humidity keep fire activity minimal

East side of the Hadweenzic River fire activity July 27, 2019.

The Upper Yukon Zone has 58 active fires, with a total for the year of 74, that have burned over a million acres. The dryness of the duff layer, a blanket on the forest floor of spruce needles and tundra, have created a challenge to extinguish fires in the zone. Fires are burning eight inches or more in the duff layer that has not had substantial precipitation since May 2019.

There are two Incident Management Teams and one National Incident Management Organization supporting the zone with overhead on three fires/complexes. Initial attack and allotment protection continue to be priorities on the Upper Yukon Zone.

BLM 2019 Women’s Crew clearing trees and prepping indirect line east of the Hadweenzic River Fire

Current staffed fires:

The Victoria Mountain Fire (#329), is 21,295 acres and located about 55 miles southeast of Steven’s Village, on the north slope of the Victoria Mountains. It is in monitor status with minimal fire activity. The fire area had substantial rain overnight.

The Old John Fire (#681) is near Old John Lake east of Arctic Village, 100% contained at 125 acres.

The Jefferson Creek Fire (#682) is 62 acres and east of Circle, saw line and hose have been completed around the fire. Cabin Lake Fire Use Module will be assigned to the fire today to evaluate and continue to mop-op hot spots interior of the fire perimeter.  

Rain remains to be minimal in the zone and has kept fire activity low, but the duff layer and trees are extremely dry. Once the low clouds in the area leave, fire behavior will increase and smoke will also come back to the area. New starts are anticipated as the precipitation moves out of the region.

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 (907) 356-5511, or email 2019.AFS.FIRES@gmail.com.

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