Weather helps firefighters, subdues activity on fires near Manley, Tolovana hot springs

Moderated weather conditions have allowed firefighters to advance efforts on fires burning near the Tolovana Hot Springs and south of Manley Hot Springs.

As eight smokejumpers continue to mop up the Washington Creek Fire (#231) about 1 1/2 miles south of the Tolovana Hot Springs, other firefighters are building fire breaks around sites within striking distance of the Dry Creek Fire (#195) burning south of Manley. Higher humidity levels and even a little bit of rain has kept fire activity in check on the Dry Creek Fire and has helped efforts on the Washington Creek Fire. Smokejumpers plan to finish work and demobilize from the 2-acre Washington Creek Fire around midweek.

The Medford Type 2 Initial Attack Crew from Oregon was busy creating a fire break and clearing out vegetation around a Native allotment along the Tanana River. Other firefighters completed setting up a turn-key hose and sprinkler system on a cabin to the north of the fire in case warm weather returns and kicks up fire activity. The lightning-caused fire has burned an estimated almost 10,000 acres of tundra, black and hardwood trees on Alaska Native corporation land since it started on June 14. It was reported as smoldering and creeping on Saturday, but didn’t show any fire growth. There are a total of 30 people assigned to the fire working both along the Tanana River and at the staging area in Manley Hot Springs.

These two are the only staffed fires in the BLM Alaska Fire Service Tanana Fire Management Zone. This Zone encompasses approximately 44.3 million acres in the northern middle section of Alaska in between the Galena and Upper Yukon zones. The Zone stretches from the North Slope south to Denali National Park and west of the Dalton Highway to the Colville and Koyukuk rivers.

Of the 222 fires that have burned an estimated 23,074 acres across Alaska, nine have burned roughly 10,540 acres in the Tanana Zone as of Saturday. Most burned in a limited management option area and were placed in monitor status. That includes the roughly 500-acre Hickel Fire (#233) burning about 20 miles southeast of Bettles. It is about 16 miles west of the Dalton Highway at milepost 126. During warm days, Dalton Highway motorists may see smoke from this fire and other fires farther south.

For more information, contact BLM Alaska Fire Service Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)356-5510 or

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, BLM Alaska Fire Service

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