Southwest Alaska Area Fire Update – Wednesday July 31, 2019

Firefighters and equipment in the Southwest Area of Division of Forestry are in the demobilization process due to operational objectives being completed and current weather conditions. Fire personnel will continue to monitor fires and will conduct reconnaissance flights to monitor fire activity and growth.

There are currently 64 active fires in the Southwest Area, according to the Division of Forestry office in McGrath. No new fires were reported on Tuesday. Five fires remain staffed to protect the villages of Nikolai and Red Devil, the Donlin Mine, the Nixon Mine, and allotments and cabins along the Kuskokwim River.

The Medicine Creek Fire (#673) – (8 acres) was started by lightning on July 23, five miles northwest of Medfra. Firefighters continue to mop-up and grid the fire for any remaining hot spots and prepare for demobilizing all personnel and equipment at the end of the week. [17 personnel]

The Lost Jack Lake Fire (#662) – (47.5 acres), started by lightning on July 23, three miles north of Nikolai. The 10-person Mammoth Wildland Fire Module and the 20-person Southwest Area Crew #2 comprised of firefighters from Hooper Bay, Scammon Bay and Chevak are preparing equipment and personnel to be released from the fire today. [34 personnel]

The Smith Creek Fire (#534) – (70,173 acres), was started by lightning on July 12, one mile west of the Donlin Mine. Firefighters continue to secure 80 structures by mopping up any remaining heat residing in berms around Donlin Mine and monitor any southern spread of the fire south near the drill sites. [11 personnel]

The McCally Creek Fire (#487) – (3,097 acres) was started by lightning on July 10 near the community of Red Devil. A reconnaissance flight yesterday observed few areas of smoke that have been determined non-threatening to the infrastructure. The Pioneer Peak Hotshots have completed saw line around a Native Allotment west of the Red Devil airstrip and will be leaving structure protection equipment around five structures on the northside of the Kuskokwim River. All personnel will be demobilized today. [21 personnel]

The Hidden Creek Fire (#464) – (1,100 acres) was started by lightning on July 9, 20 miles northwest of Nikolai in the area of the Nixon Fork Gold Mine. The Southwest Area Crew #1 has completed structure protection objectives at the Nixon Fork Mine and will be released today. [12 personnel]

There are 59 fires currently in monitor status. Monitoring schedules are based on defined timeframes, but are dependent on available resources, and weather conditions. To see the status of unstaffed fires, go to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center’s Situation Report.

The Southwest Area forestry office in McGrath appreciates reports from the public regarding fire activity. To report new fires in the Southwest Area, call 907-524-3366 (FIRE LINE). This will be the final update for the unless significant activity occurs. For more information call Public Information Officer, Tim Mowry at 907-356-5512 or visit AKFIREINFO.COM online for current statewide fire information.

Categories: AK Fire Info

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