The Isom Creek Fire (#187) continued to burn actively Sunday, spreading to the southwest through stands of black spruce mixed with hardwoods. Firefighters report the fire is resistant to control due to continued warm and dry weather. A contingent of water-scooping aircraft, air retardant tankers and helicopters with water-dropping buckets supported personnel on the ground. Satellite imaging shows the fire has grown to 1,535 acres since lightning ignited it on Friday.
The Dalton Highway is open, however, the fire has crossed the roadway in the area between mileposts 47-52. Drivers need to use extreme caution, driving slow with their headlights on due to low visibility, firefighting personnel and equipment in the area. Beyond the fire area and north of the Yukon River crossing, drivers need to be cautious of helicopter operations at Five Mile airstrip, milepost 61, crews camping at the nearby BLM campground. Do not stop on the highway; please utilize turnouts outside of mileposts 46-62. The Yukon River Camp north of the Yukon River Bridge at milepost 56 is open for food, fuel and lodging.
The fire reached the trans-Alaska pipeline west of the highway Saturday. The pipeline remains undamaged as it was designed to withstand wild fires. The Alyeska Pump Station 6 northwest of the fire is prepared should the fire move in that direction.
A total of 114 personnel are assigned to the fire including several hand crews. The Type 2 Alaska Incident Management Black Team has been ordered and will take command of the fire Wednesday morning.
Firefighters will concentrate on protecting Native allotments and structures along the Yukon River and preventing any more impacts the highway and pipeline to the west. The goal is to contain the fire.
A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire and some of the surrounding area to provide a safe operating environment for firefighting aircraft. Go to https://tfr.faa.gov for more information on the TFR.