|Start Date: 06/05/2020 Location: 17 miles SW of Stevens Village, AK Cause: Lightning Fire Size: 10,844 acres Containment: 10% Total Personnel: 275|
(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – Westerly winds continued to help and hinder firefighters on the Isom Creek Fire Thursday. Winds pushed the fire away from the Dalton Highway, allowing firefighting crews to continue increasing the width of their firelines along the highway and the Hovercraft Road. Those same winds on the eastern side pushed the fire into the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge. Squads of firefighters are moving upriver, identifying and starting structure protection measures on Native allotments.. The fire was estimated yesterday afternoon to be 10,844 acres with 10 percent containment.
Very warm, dry weather is forecast for today with light and variable winds. There is also a good chance of isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon and late into the evening. These storms will bring lightning and gusty, erratic winds but the only chance for a wetting rain is directly under a cell. 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. The expected increase in fire activity today will lead to smoke impacting 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.
All firefighters are briefed daily on safe practices for operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Personnel are wearing facemasks when in close proximity and are maintaining social distancing. Crews are camping separate from each other to minimize exposure. Fresh food boxes are delivered every three days for each crew to prepare their own meals.
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.