Chalkyitsik Complex: Team transition with the incoming Alaska Type 2 Black Team

Firefighters' spike camp is set up near the Small Timber Fire (#687) of the Chalkyitsik Complex on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. The 34-acre fire is holding heat in the deep layers of peat along the Draanjik River due to the extreme drought conditions the area has experienced this season. Sam Harrel
Firefighters’ spike camp is set up near the Small Timber Fire (#687) of the Chalkyitsik Complex on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. The 34-acre fire is holding heat in the deep layers of peat along the Draanjik River due to the extreme drought conditions the area has experienced this season. Sam Harrel/Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team

The Alaska Type 2 Green Team on the Chalkyitsik Complex and the National Incident Management Team on the Cornucopia Complex are briefing the incoming Alaska Type 2 Black Team with Incident Commander Ed Sanford today. Future updates will incorporate daily management actions from both fire complexes.

Incident Commander Norm McDonald of the Alaska Type 2 Green Team stated, “A huge thank you to the Chalkyitsik community for helping support our Field Operating Base and working collaboratively with us.” He also thanked the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center for providing an Incident Command Post location for both the Chalkyitsik and the Cornucopia Complexes.

Today, mop up activities and backhaul of equipment, pumps and hoses continue in Chalkyitsik. Cloudy and rainy skies are expected over the complex with north winds 5 to 7 mph transitioning in the evening to southeast winds 3 to 5 mph. Safety Officers directed firefighters during the morning briefing to keep warm and dry on the line and watch for hypothermia. Falling trees continue to be significant hazard during the incident, especially during wind events.

Significant fire spread in the complex is not expected but interior fuels will continue to burn out. Lower duff layers that are stubbornly resisting mop up and retaining heat are now temporarily capped under moist surface layers. Rain in excess of 4 inches is needed to significantly dampen the lower duff layers. 

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