Cornucopia Complex Update: August 3

Complex acreage: 93,724 (Hadweenzic River: 61,290 acres – Chandalar River: 12,977 acres)
Complex personnel: 242
Complex helicopters: 2
Complex boats: 14

August 3 – Beaver, Alaska – Friday was another rainy day on the Hadweenzic River Fire (#337) east of Beaver, Alaska. As predicted, it began raining about noon and kept up through the evening, dampening fuel for the fire and stopping most activity. Crews on the east and west ends of the fire spent the day trying to stay dry and continued to package up equipment & trash. Helicopters pulled eight sling loads of backhaul off the west end of the fire around Naashii Bible Camp, and took them to the landing strip in Beaver. A larger plane will move the loads to Fairbanks when flying is possible again. Not much flying happened Friday afternoon, especially into Beaver, because of the weather.

Four members of the Cornucopia Complex incident management team sit around a table listening to radio and telephone reports from fire crews in the field.
Members of the NIMO Team participate in the morning radio briefing for firefighters in the field. On the phone is Fire Behavior and Long-term Analyst, Stewart Turner, From left to right: Communications Eric Martinez, Safety Officer Tony Petrilli and Logistics Section Chief Leslie Morgan.

While little rain reached the Chandalar River Fire (#349) west of Venetie during the day yesterday, by 5:30 pm, firefighters were reporting some showers. Six sling loads of backhaul were brought off the fire and taken to Venetie for later shipment to Fairbanks. The forecast calls for more rain over most of the fire area from today through Sunday, which should ensure the fires will not test firefighters, or threaten structures or allotments, any time soon. Sunday, warmer temperatures are forecast, but it will be some time before the vegetation has dried enough to burn again. Today, personnel on all fires will again be engaged primarily in packing up equipment to return it to Fairbanks.

Wednesday of next week will be the last day for the National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) team on the complex. The Cornucopia Complex and the Chalkyitsik Complex will both transition on Thursday, August 7th, to an Alaskan Type 2 team. The new team will keep enough personnel, aircraft and equipment on hand to make sure neither complex threatens nearby communities, allotments or other values.

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.

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