Rain continued to put a damper on wildfires burning in the Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska on Monday.
Cooler, wetter weather has brought rain to most of the fires still burning and smoldering in Southwest Alaska, helping to moderate fire activity. Nearly an inch of rain has fallen at the King Salmon airport in the past four days to help tamp down fire activity. As of Tuesday afternoon, only one fire in the region remained staffed, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry.
Here is a rundown of fire activity in the Bristol Bay region:
- Pete Andrews Creek Fire (#457), 25 miles southwest of Nondalton and 7 miles north of Ilamna Lake, 5,859 acres, started on July 8. The fire received light to heavy rain all day Monday and into the evening but there is still some heat showing along the northwest edge. There are eight smokejumpers still working to set up protection measures for Native allotments to the south that could be threatened by the fire should it become more active. Firefighters are cutting saw lines around the allotments and plumbing those lines with pumps and hose. Firefighters are also continuing work to secure the northwest edge of fire that is holding on the edge of Upper Talarik Creek, where there is intermittent heat showing.
- Levelock Fire (#752), 30 miles north of King Salmon, 8,549 acres, started on August 18. All 27 personnel working on the fire were released at the end of shift on Monday and the fire will now be monitored. Eight smokejumpers and the Type 2 Kusilvak hand crew were demobilized from the fire. Burn-out operations to protect the village of Levelock, the village airstrip and Native allotments south of the village are complete and no smoke was observed over the fire area on Monday. A helicopter with heat-detecting infrared equipment will be used to search for any areas of heat when weather conditions allow to ensure the fire does not pose a future threat.
- Ethel Creek Fire (#516), 105 miles north of King Salmon and 53 miles northeast of Nondalton, 31,000 acres, started on July 11. The fire received rain most of the day on Monday with minimal fire activity. Seven smokejumpers were released from the fire Tuesday morning after completing protection measures around Native allotments on the northeast edge of the fire. Saw lines with pumps and hose lays are set up and will be left in place should the fire become threatening.