Video Update For for All Fires in the Upper Yukon Area Covering August 8-11, 2019

Watch this 5 minute video update on the status of the fire suppression, mop up and back haul for all of the fires in the Cornucopia and Chalkyitsik Complexes with Operations Chief Karen Scholl and Information Officer Kale Casey. This video is a part of our “Break it Down” series, where we bring you the public into our strategic planning process as a part of our ongoing transparency campaign. Watch YouTube videos at our channel

Firefighters continue to make significant progress securing and strengthening lines on multiple wildfires across the Upper Yukon Flats on Wednesday. The highest priority for all fire personnel has been ensuring the protection of the Gwich’in villages of Chalkyitsik, Beaver and Venetie.  

Constructed containment lines that have been made by hand line, dozer line and natural barriers will continue to be patrolled and monitored by firefighters assisted by Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) “drones” and traditional aviation equipment. Resources such as equipment and personnel that have completed their missions are being transported to Fairbanks for release to their home unit. Fire managers are building a plan to support a proactive response should fire activity increase in the months ahead. 

Significant fire spread on the wildfires is not expected, but interior fuels will continue to burn and produce visible smoke. Lower duff layers are stubbornly resisting mop up and retaining heat due to persistent drought conditions. These lower layers are now temporarily capped under a moist surface layer that will easily dry. Rain in excess of 4 inches is needed to significantly dampen the lower duff layers.

Chalkyitsik Complex: Firefighters continue mopping up the Chalkyitsik Complex, a 501,621-acre fire complex above the Arctic Circle. Fire crews completed securing the line in the vicinity of Ohtig Lake working north along indirect lines. Mop up activities are nearly complete between the Draanjik River and Chahalie Lake. Excess equipment is being back hauled to Chalkyitsik for return to Fairbanks. The Midnight Sun Interagency Hotshot Crew has been inserted into the area of Rotten Fish Slough along the Draanjik River to stop fire spread on allotments.

Cornucopia Complex:  The three crews remaining on the Chandalar River Fire, near Venetie, are improving their fire lines west of the eastern most allotment as they mop up their previous firing operations. The removal of excess equipment is underway. The other fires in the complex have had suppression equipment removed and are in monitor status.

WEATHER:  Showers are expected over the fire area Thursday afternoon and will begin to diminish Friday, ending Friday night. Saturday will be mostly cloudy with high temperatures in the mid 60s. Numerous showers are forecast for Sunday, continuing into Monday.

SAFETY: Residents in the area are asked to remain vigilant both in the short and long term when re-entering areas or allotments that have been impacted by fire activity. The fire has burned underground in many areas of the tundra, into deep duff and through tree root systems. Fire weakened trees can fall down with very little wind. White ash on the ground may indicate deep pockets of hot ash where roots and ground vegetation have burned and may continue to burn below ground level. Sever burns may occur by stepping or falling into these pockets of hot ash. Walking through burned areas is not safe.

Chalkyitsik Complex: Tractor Trail 2 Fire (#348) 90,970 acres, Frozen Calf Fire (#367) 238,989 acres, Bearnose Hill Fire (#407) 130,335 acres, Tettjajik Creek Fire (#424) 41,301, Small Timber Lake Fire (#687) 34 acres. [501,621 acres total]

Cornucopia Complex:, Hadweenzic River Fire (#337) 61,290 acres, Chandalar River Fire (#349) 12,977 acres, East Fork Chandalar Fire (#572) 190 acres, Tony Slough (#493) 7,961 acres, Trail Creek Fire (#621) 2,132 acres, Sixty-One Mountain 1 Fire (#622) 72 acres, The Woodsman Fire (#602) 0.1 acres, Coal River Fire (#601) 2, 606 acres, Pitka River Fire (#573) 1,260 acres, Thazzik Mountain Fire (#594) 4,992 acres, Schilling Creek Fire (#653) 517.2 acres. [93,997.3 acres]


For current statewide fire information call 907-356-5511 or visit AKFIREINFO.COM online.

Info Line: (907) 356-5511

You Tube:

Video credit: PIO Kale Casey & Operations Chief Karen Scholl AKIMT/BLM AFS Alaska Fire Service/DNR Alaska Division of Forestry.

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