Fire kicks up smoke in Tanana Zone; public meeting scheduled in Rampart for Thursday

Photo of smoke rising through clouds above Little Mud River Fire Monday sent ash blowing 10 miles northeast to Manley.
Smoke rising through clouds above Little Mud River Fire Monday sent ash blowing 10 miles northeast to Manley. Photo by Cammy Roy, BLM Alaska Fire Service.


Fire activity picked up on the Little Mud River Fire (#316) Monday, creating a large smoke column that sent blowing ash as far as Manley, 10 miles away. The fire is not staffed at this time, however, smokejumpers at a nearby fire are going to assess the protection needs of a cabin 4 miles from the edge of this 79,674-acre fire.

A community meeting will be held at 3 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 1 at the Rampart School gymnasium to discuss fire and smoke conditions.

Monitoring of all active fires continues, as the zone has not yet received sufficient rain to significantly dampen smoldering, given persistent drought conditions. Weather is forecasted to be cloudy Tuesday with light winds from the southwest. There is little chance of rain until later in the week. Smoke may settle on the Yukon River and areas around Rampart as the fires continue to smolder. Attention today is focused on potential fire activity and danger from falling trees.

Buster Creek Fire (#624) – 112 acres, 8 personnel, started on July 18

A load of smokejumpers working at Buster Creek Fire, west of Tanana, will continue today to monitor fire activity and protect a nearby Native allotment. Several firefighters there will be assessing protection needs of a cabin about 4 miles from nearby Little Mud Fire (#316), which has been monitored since its start on June 21 and became more active yesterday. 

Little Creek Fire (#616) – 125 acres, 34 personnel, started on July 18

Firefighters will start removing equipment from the Little Creek Fire today. The Type 2 Emergency Firefighting Yukon-Koyukuk crew from Huslia, Koyukuk, Nulato, Kaltag and Galena will demobilize today, followed by another crew tomorrow. Seven fire personnel will remain on the ground after these crews leave. 

Grouse Creek (#485) – 52,000 acres, 87 personnel, started on July 10 [includes Twin Ponds (#486) and Garnet Creek Fire (#576), 9,043 acres, started July 15)]

The Grouse Creek and Twin Pond fires are burning about 6 miles northeast of Rampart. Fire personnel monitoring the Grouse Creek Fire observed an increase in fire size. While the Garnet Fire does not appear to have spread, it continues to hold heat and smoldered Monday, producing smoke on its northeast corner near Troublesome Creek and southeast of Chicago Lakes. A large swath of recently downed trees was discovered, indicating weakened tree roots. Firefighters on the ground continue to patrol, while remaining alert near burned areas to the potential for weakened trees to fall without warning. Other crews widened the saw-cut fire break, moved slash, and cut up woody debris piles around Rampart. They will continue to widen and extend the two-track road adjacent to the airstrip. Protection continues on cabins and Native allotments upriver.

For current updates on Grouse Creek and Garnet Creek fires, call 907-358-3320.

For additional and current smoke information, visit: https://dec.alaska.gov/air/anpms/wildfire-smoke/ Information on wildfire smoke predictions can also 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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