Operations Video Update: Chalkyitsik Complex With Detailed Maps for Sunday August 4 2019

Gusty winds up to 25 mph from the west will start the day Sunday and taper off midday. No rainfall is expected over the complex area Sunday and Monday. Falling trees with unstable root beds within the burned areas are a significant risk to firefighter safety and crews are conducting operational pauses when winds pick up along the fireline.  Fire indices (Fine Fuel Moisture Code and Drought Moisture Code) have dropped significantly with Saturday’s wetting rain but are already starting to rebound given how dry the fuels were before the rain. 1-3 days of drying could bring the forest fuels back to burnable levels.

Chalkyitsik Complex Fire Map August 4th 2019
Chalkyitsik Complex Fire Map August 4th 2019

The Chalkitysik Complex is experiencing wetting rains, with an expected one half inch of rain through early Sunday morning. Fire activity will be mainly creeping and smoldering and fire spread is not expected on the Frozen Calf (#367), Bearnose Hill (#407), and Tractor Trail 2 (#348) fires. The Small Timber Lake fire is expected to be contained on Saturday with continued interior pockets of heavy fuels and deep duff layer mop up challenges. Tettjajik Creek fire (#424) interior fuels will continue to burn but active fire spread is unlikely due to recent rain and the adjacent 1999 Kevinjik Fire perimeter. Fire Crews will spend the operational period on the line, with a directive from the Safety Officers to stay dry and warm, and watch for hypothermia in crew members.

Firefighters made significant progress on securing and strengthening lines across the fire complex Friday. Moderate fire behavior was experienced across the complex with interior burning and activity on the western perimeter near the Grass River (Bearnose Hill Fire).  The Small Timber Lake Fire continued to burn very deep requiring intensive mop up activities by firefighters.  The Tractor Trail 2 Fire burned on the western perimeter near the Sucker River.

Friday, firefighters continued work to secure containment lines around the 150 acre slop over near the Chahalie Slough. Crews are also deployed along the Draanjik River corridor on east side to mitigate any fire hazards and set up structure protection to allotments and permitted cabins. Containment of the Small Timber Lake Fire is expected on Saturday. Hazard trees and falling snags (dead standing trees) within the fire perimeter are a safety risk to crews. Deep burning makes trees very unstable and likely to fall even in the absence of wind. The forecasted rain of ½ inch for fire area is predicted to reduce the Build Up Index and moderate fire behavior.

Info Line: (907) 356-5511

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Video credit: PIO Kale Casey AKIMT/BLM AFS Alaska Fire Service/DNR Alaska Division of Forestry.

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