(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – The Isom Creek Fire (#187) did not grow despite dry thunderstorm activity with strong winds on the ridge tops Sunday. An increase in relative humidity is helping firefighters make large gains on containment, which is now estimated at 44%. Crews are slogging up extremely steep terrain to close the remaining gap on the west side of the fireline near the sharp bend in Hovercraft Road. Air tankers continue to support crews working on the active eastern edge of the fire. The Alaska Incident Management Black Team is collaborating with agencies to evaluate the best tactics for fire management in this area. Agencies approved using Blazetamer380, a water-enhancing fire suppression additive dropped from air tankers, to support containment efforts on that side of the fire. Crews are working south from the Yukon River to establish a line ahead of the east side of the fire, to connect with another crew working north from a high point firefighters refer to as the Sound of Music Knob, near milepost 36 on the Dalton Highway. Firefighters working along the Yukon River are documenting and implementing protection needs for Native allotments in the area.
Forecasted southeast winds are expected to improve conditions for firefighters to strengthen the southern perimeter today. They are planning to burn green areas inside the fireline, if conditions allow. This will reduce the chance of these pockets of dry vegetation to ignite in windy weather and spot outside the fire perimeter. Vegetation is likely to become drier in the next few days and more prone to ignition as ample sunshine is forecast through the early afternoons. Thunderstorm activity is possible later in the afternoons, with lightning and strong, gusty, erratic wind in the vicinity of storm cells.
The Dalton Highway remains open to travel, with traffic control as needed for smoke conditions or in support of firefighting efforts. Use extreme caution between mileposts 34-62 by driving slowly with headlights on. Be prepared for low visibility, firefighting personnel and equipment along the roadway. Do not stop on the highway. Please use turnouts outside of mileposts 34-62.
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.
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.