Weather Helps Firefighters on Yukon Flats Fires

(Fairbanks, Alaska) –Weather has cooperated with firefighters in northeastern Alaska, allowing firefighters to make significant progress on fires. Scattered showers, higher relative humidity and light winds reduced fire activity, but conditions remain extremely dry in the Yukon Flats. For the first time in days, no new fires were reported on Tuesday. A crew on one fire is being demobilized bringing the number of staffed fires to three in northeast Interior Alaska. Fire starts are expected to increase when temperatures increase and relative humidity decreases. Most fires in the region not threatening people or property are being monitored.

The Porcupine Fire (#249) – The Rogue River Hotshots and the first load of smokejumpers will continue a direct attack on the original fire footprint, focusing on the left flank and lower third of the fire. Smokejumpers will work on a section that slopped across the slough, focusing on the left flank and top third of fire. Fire Boss water-scooper planes and helicopter bucket slings will be used as needed to minimize fire activity along the perimeter. Firefighters are working to tie in firelines and began mop up along the left flank of the fire today before focusing on building firelines along the right flank. They continue to respond to spot fires outside firelines. One Type 1 Hotshot crews were ordered to help work towards containment. Mop up could take a week. Smokejumpers are being extracted as fresh crews are inserted. The Porcupine Fire started Saturday and is estimated at 185 acres burning about 17 miles northeast of Fort Yukon in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

Photo of Ninemile Lake fire
The Ninemile Lake Fire was started by lightning on June 15 and is burning 30 miles south of Fort Yukon. Fire managers expect it to be contained this week.

Ninemile Lake Fire (#270) – Firefighters continue to work towards containment of the fire, which is burning in tundra, hardwoods, and black spruce. The fire is 75% contained. Fire behavior was low as the fire received rain during Tuesday night. Firelines held despite overnight winds from thunderstorms. Containment and mop-up should be completed in the next few days. Six smokejumpers will demobilized from the fire on. The Ninemile Lake fire was started by lightning on Monday and is estimated at 10 acres burning about 30 miles south of Fort Yukon.

The Alfred Creek Fire (#215) – Firefighters completed inserting protection measures on Native allotments, including building fire linein dry areas and placing a sprinkler system on a cabin on the south side of the Yukon River. The Alfred Creek fire is burning 11 miles east of Stevens Village and is 70% contained. Chena Hotshots are demobilizing from the Alfred Creek Fire today and will return to Fairbanks to rest and be available for future fires. Crew leaders will survey the fire from the air on the way back to Fairbanks.  

For more information, contact the Alaska Interagency Fire Information Office at (907)356-5511. For a pdf of this report click here.

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