Caribou Lake Fire grows as firefighters hold the North Fork Fire.

The Caribou Lake Fire (#754) was active on Tuesday spreading toward valuable assets as poor visibility limited aircraft support. As the heavy inversion cleared, retardant drops slowed the spread of the fire as helicopters shuttled the Redding Hotshot Crew of California to the fire. Smokejumpers continued constructing dozer line. As of Tuesday evening, the size of the fire is estimated to be 700 acres. Poor visibility has hampered efforts to map the fire’s perimeter. The fire was active through the night last night despite the heavy morning inversion.

The Caribou Lake Fire burned actively Tuesday evening, Aug. 20, 2019. East winds are expected to challenge firefighters efforts today. Jay Walter/Alaska Division of Forestry

Firefighters were able to hold their dozer line around the North Fork Fire (#751) as they improved their hose lay and started mop-up to widen their fireline. Cooler temperatures moderated fire behavior Tuesday. The fire remains at 59 acres.

Clear skies and temperatures in the 60s along with winds from the east starting this afternoon will challenge firefighters on the Peninsula as dry conditions continue. The next chance of rain for the fire areas is expected Friday as a front moves through bringing isolated showers.

The primary focus today on the Caribou Lakes fire will be on the western flank where forecasted east winds are expected to increase fire activity. There are more than a dozen structures to the southeast of the fire along the north-shore of Caribou Lake. The 28 smokejumpers and hotshots on the fire will continue to build fireline working with three dozers and an excavator. Aircraft will continue to support firefighters as conditions allow.

Retardant Tanker-40 makes a structure protection drop on the Caribou Lake Fire on Tuesday evening, Aug. 20, 2019. East winds are expected to challenge firefighters efforts today. Jay Walter/Alaska Division of Forestry

Large trees falling across firelines will continue to challenge firefighters on the North Fork Fire today as they continue to hold and improve their perimeter. Standing trees or snags, weakened by drought, insects and fire fall at anytime and are dangerous to work around. Water trucks are being used to shuttle water to the fireline. Drivers need to be cautious around firefighters and equipment. There are no road closures associated with this fire.

Because of the forecast winds, residents living along North Fork Road, north of the fire and in communities along the Diamond Ridge Road to the south, remain on a Level 1 “Ready” notice. A “Ready” alert is NOT a notice to leave. This means that people must be ready for potential evacuation. This includes assisting family members with special needs, arrange to move mobile property (boats, trailers, ATV), and prepare pets or livestock.

Retardant Tanker-40 makes a structure protection drop on the Caribou Lake Fire on Tuesday evening, Aug. 20, 2019. East winds are expected to challenge firefighters efforts today. Jay Walter/Alaska Division of Forestry

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