Crews make gains on Isom Creek Fire, bear dogs still at work

Update 6:00 p.m:

ORIGINAL POST 11:00 a.m:

Start Date: 06/05/2020
Location: 17 miles SW of Stevens Village, AK
Cause: Lightning
Fire Size: 12,024 acres
Containment: 62%
Total Personnel: 327

(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – Additional smoke may be spotted rising from the Isom Creek Fire (#187) later today as temperatures warm and kick up fire activity. Firefighters are waiting for the right conditions to conduct burnout operations on the south and east sides of the fire. This carefully planned operation will eliminate patches of unburned vegetation between the main fire and a constructed fire line will further containment efforts. It also reduces the potential for reignition by wind gusts and spotting outside the fireline.

Isom Creek Fire Map for June 18, 2020. Download a copy of today’s map.

Fire crews continue improving containment lines. This is important, slow, dirty work, searching for hot spots in the ash of the burned areas to reduce potential for the fire to spread. The Type 2 SES Fire contract crew, with firefighters from Hughes, Huslia and Allakaket, is covering the western perimeter. Another BLM Alaska Fire Service Type 2 contract crew, the Capstone Crew with firefighters from the Minto and Tanana area, made progress on the southern border north of the Dalton Highway. The Type 2 Initial Attack Tanana Chiefs Crew is working on the southeast line near milepost 46 on the Dalton Highway.

Helicopter Manager Justin Johansen, middle, gives a safety briefing to his passengers prior to their flight to a spike camp Wednesday, June 17, 2020, on the Isom Creek Fire (#187). The mission was to deliver Karelian bear dogs, Rio and Soledad, along with their handler Nils Pederson, left, and Safety Officer Mathew Martin to a firefighter camp where a bear was intruding. Cammy Roy/Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team

Karelian bear dogs and their handlers continue to aid firefighters camping near their assigned work sites on the south and east sides of the fire. The dogs had their first helicopter trip to a spike camp Wednesday where curious bears were intruding. These wildlife service dogs are encouraging bears to stay away from people and critical supplies, reducing human-wildlife conflicts. Bears continue to roam free, and firefighters are concentrating on suppression efforts.

The Dalton Highway remains open to travel, with traffic control as needed for smoke conditions or in support of firefighting efforts. Drivers need to 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 Five Mile Campground near the Yukon Bridge on the Dalton Highway remains closed to public access; it is reserved for crews fighting the Isom Creek Fire. 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 is not damaged as it was designed to withstand wildfires. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fire and some of the surrounding area to provide a safe operating environment for firefighting aircraft. Go to for more information on the TFR.

For more information about the fire, email, call (907)356-5970, or go to and

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info

Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: