Erratic winds push Isom Creek Fire growth to roughly 5,000 acres

An isolated storm cell moved over the Isom Creek Fire (#187) late Monday evening bringing strong, erratic winds and light rain. Firefighters reported the rain had little effect, but the winds pushed the fire to the east causing significant growth to an estimated 5,000 acres.

State and federal firefighting crews built indirect firelines and conducted burnout operations yesterday to remove the burnable vegetation ahead of the fire. This work was completed along a two-track trail, locally known as Hovercraft Road, from the Dalton Highway to the south bank of the Yukon River. Crews will improve this fireline today to keep the fire from moving west towards Native allotments, the Yukon River crossing and Aleyska Pump Station 6. A structure protection group, using boats along the river, are assessing allotments and implementing protection measures ahead of the fire.

Additional crews worked to burnout along the highway, establishing a fireline to hold the fire from moving beyond the highway corridor between mileposts 46 to 51 near the two-track trail. The fire crossed the Dalton Highway in places. Firefighters, supported by water-dropping aircraft and helicopters, are working directly along the fire’s edge. To the east of the fire is an area where the 2004 Waldron Creek Fire burned stands of black spruce that has regrown with brushy, hardwood tree mix. This change in vegetation can slow the advancing fire, giving firefighters the opportunity to build firebreaks from the highway near milepost 46 north to the river.

The Dalton Highway is open, but firefighters may occasionally halt traffic to keep firefighters and travelers safe during burnout operations. Drivers need to use extreme caution between mileposts 45-62 by driving slow with their headlights on due to low visibility, especially with the firefighting personnel and equipment in the area. Do not stop on the highway and please utilize turnouts outside of mileposts 45-62. The Yukon River Camp north of the Yukon River Bridge, milepost 56 is open for food, fuel and lodging.

The fire reached the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, however, it remains undamaged as it was designed to withstand wildfires.

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.

Isom Creek Fire (#183)

Size: 5,000 acres

Personnel assigned: 195

For more information, contact the Alaska Interagency Fire Information Office at (907)356-5511 or email 2020.IsomCreek@firenet.gov

Map of Isom Creek Fire (#187) for June 9, 2020.
Map of Isom Creek Fire (#187) for June 9, 2020. Click on link for PDF version of map.

About BLM Alaska Fire Service

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 244 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with a $10 million inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.

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