Backhaul has begun in earnest on the Cornucopia Complex. Firefighters are working to pack up equipment like hose, fittings, sprinklers and pumps, as well as miscellaneous items like trash and food boxes, and get it all sent back to Fairbanks before predicted, rainy weather. Once returned, equipment is cleaned and refurbished for the next fire.
The staffed fires in the complex are winding down as cooler, wetter weather reduces fire activity. Crews are holding the line they have and securing it, so that even occasional warm or windy days, won’t see fire movement. Firefighters were unable to burn on the Hadweenzic Fire Wednesday. Instead, crews continued improving line and determining what equipment can be backhauled.
On the Chandalar River Fire, a strong, west wind Wednesday, challenged firefighter efforts to hold the burn completed Tuesday and preventing them from accomplishing more burning along the northern perimeter. There was increased activity on the fire, with some smoldering and single tree torching, but it was all interior. If today’s forecasted precipitation moves in, the focus will be holding already secured line as well as looking for, and extinguishing, any heat.
There was a flight over a few of the unstaffed fires within the complex yesterday afternoon. Some were actively burning on all flanks but none had grown significantly. A new fire started Wednesday about four miles south of the confluence of the East Fork of the Chandalar River and the main river. The fire is more than three miles from the nearest allotments and was reported to the Upper Yukon Tanana Zone. It will remain unstaffed and monitored.
Since fire activity and growth has slowed significantly, today work will focus on packing pallet-loads of back haul to ensure only the right equipment and supplies are left on the fire by mid-week next week. Air operations will continue its mission of moving cargo and crews back to Fairbanks, allowing personnel numbers to naturally dwindle through attrition.
Temporary Flight Restrictions remain in place for the Hadweenzic River and Tony Slough fires. Go to https://tfr.faa.gov for more information on the TFR.