Warm, dry weather expected for Isom Creek Fire

Start Date: 06/05/2020 Location: 17 miles SW of Stevens Village, AK Cause: Lightning Fire Size:  10,618 acres Containment: 10% Total Personnel: 300  

(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – Southwest winds pushed the Isom Creek Fire away from the Dalton Highway allowing firefighting crews to secure and improve their firelines along the highway and Hovercraft Road. Firefighters were able to clean up from previous burn outs by burning pockets of black spruce that were left behind along their constructed fireline. By removing these, it limits the fire’s ability to cross their lines. Because of those same winds, the fire grew considerably on the eastern side forcing personnel to burn out around an allotment as the fire approached. The sprinkler system was activated keeping the structure safe. The fire was estimated yesterday afternoon to be 10,618 acres with 10 percent containment.

A column of smoke rises from the Isom Creek Fire (#187) on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Photo courtesy Tanana Chiefs Crew

Warm, dry weather is forecast for today with west, northwest winds gusting to 15 miles per hour. Fire managers will keep that in mind as they scout locations for indirect fireline construction from milepost 46 east and north to the Yukon River. Squads of firefighters will continue to travel up river, east of the fire, identifying allotments and starting protection measures. The weather going into the weekend is expected to be hotter and dryer. Isolated thunderstorms are also expected to bring small amounts of rain, gusty and erratic winds, which could lead to significant fire activity producing smoke in the area and nearby Stevens Village.

The Dalton Highway is open. Travelers can expect flaggers and a pilot car operating between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. as needed if the fire impacts the highway. Drivers need to use extreme caution between mileposts 44-62 by driving slow with their headlights on. Be prepared for low visibility, firefighting personnel and equipment along the roadway. Do not stop on the highway. Please utilize turnouts outside of mileposts 44-62. 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, however, it remains undamaged as it was designed to withstand wildfires.

The Alaska Type 2 Incident Management Black Team assumed command this morning to coordinate efforts protecting Native allotments, minimizing impacts to the highway and pipeline corridors.

Changes have been made to the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) 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.

For more information about the fire email 2020.isomcreek@firenet.gov, call (907) 356-5907 or go to https://www.facebook.com/BLMAFS/

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, Air Quality

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