Persistent drought conditions keep fires active in southwest Alaska

Eight smokejumpers were deployed Monday evening to the Ethel Creek Fire (#516) located 53 miles northwest of Nondalton. The lightning-caused fire started July 11 in a Limited suppression area. The fire has grown to an estimated 18,126 acres and is spreading toward Native allotments along the Mulchatna River and Old Man Creek. The smokejumpers will begin point protection measures for the allotments closest to the fire.

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Smokejumpers are enroute to a lightning-started fire that was reported Sunday about 9 miles southwest of Ekwok that is starting to burn actively. Smokejumpers ordered to the Koklong Creek Fire (#776) on Sunday were unable to locate the fire. Rain showers in the area at the time prevented smoke from being visible making it difficult to find. That plane load of smokejumpers were redirected to the Pauls Creek Fire (#777) reported at the same time northwest of King Salmon. Water-scooping Fire Boss aircraft worked yesterday supporting firefighters as they constructed firelines around that 25-acre fire. The Fire Bosses and a helicopter will work again today to help with suppression efforts.

Firefighters on the Levelock Fire (#752) continue improving their containment lines protecting the village and airstrip. Their control lines along the creek to the north of the airstrip are complete. They will continue working on the rest of their firelines today, increasing width to 300 feet. The fire was active on the southern perimeter but it is not posing a threat to any assets. The acreage is estimated to be 6,863.

Rain is forecast for the area beginning Friday as a change in the current dry-weather pattern is expected.

The half-acre Tunravik Creek 2 Fire (#764) reported Thursday in New Stuyahok is controlled and being monitored. The Lower Klutuk Fire (#770) reported Friday is estimated to be 106 acres and is not posing any threats. It is also being monitored.  

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