No new fires started, rain helps firefighters in northeastern Interior Alaska

(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – Rain helped cool all four staffed fires in northeastern Interior (including the Isom Creek Fire (#187) burning near the Dalton Highway Yukon River Crossing) helping firefighters make progress toward containment. No new fires were sparked yesterday in the state. Although cooler temperatures and above normal relative humidity are forecast for the next week, the Yukon Flats has not received the amount of rain needed to moderate fire conditions, and fuels remain extremely dry and primed for fire once higher temperatures and lower relative humidity return.

Map of Porcupine, Ninemile Lake and Flooded Lake fires
Map of Porcupine (#249), Ninemile Lake (#270) and Flooded Lake (#288) fires burning near Fort Yukon and Venetie Alaska on June 20, 2020. Rain helped firefighters on all staffed fires in the northeastern Interior. For a pdf version of this map click here.

Flooded Lake Fire (#288) – Firefighters continued to secure the fire edge by removing burnable fuel and using dirt to extinguish the fire. No ponds or streams are nearby to provide water for hoses. The fire received no rain last night, however fire behavior moderated. No aircraft were used yesterday. The Midnight Sun Hotshot crew is working today along with smokejumpers, and a Type 2 crew has been ordered for today. The Flooded Lake Fire is burning about 25 miles northeast of Venetie and is now estimated at nine acres, lower than the original estimate due to better mapping.

Firefighters on the Porcupine Fire (#249) are mopping up 50 feet from the edge with hose spraying the burned area inside the perimeter. Crew members estimate up to .5 inches of wetting rain fell on the fire Friday night and Saturday morning, enough to moderate fire behavior but not enough to extinguish the fire. There still remains a significant amount of work to be done, and no projected demobilization date has been set. A total of 60 firefighters are working the fire. The Porcupine Fire started Saturday and is estimated at 190 acres burning about 17 miles northeast of Fort Yukon in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

Mop up continues on the Ninemile Lake Fire (#270) burning on 10 acres about 30 miles south of Fort Yukon. Fire behavior was low due to rain and high humidity in the area. Smokejumpers and the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments, or CATG Type 2 contract crew, continue to grid the fire as well as walk the green area outside the perimeter looking for hot spots and spot fires. They will start pulling hoses today and building nets to sling equipment to be backhauled from the fire. Fire managers expect to demobilize the fire by early next week. The Ninemile Lake fire was started by lightning on Monday.

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

Categories: AK Fire Info

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