(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) – Operational priorities today include searching for hot spots within the Haystack Fire (#196) perimeter and monitoring for lightning holdover fires in the vicinity. A holdover fire or sleeper fire can smolder below the surface of the ground for a substantial amount of time until temperatures warm, vegetation dries, and winds breathe life into the dormant fire. Today the weather is expected to be warmer and dryer than the past several days, so hot spots and holdover fires could begin to generate more visible smoke.
While containment is increasing, substantial challenges remain as line is completed around the entire fire. Firefighters are constructing line in steep terrain that bulldozers cannot access. The Snake River Valley crew will arrive today from Oregon, as the White Mountain Crew heads home to Fairbanks for much deserved rest.
A portion of an old fuel break constructed during the 2004 Boundary Fire by the State of Alaska Division of Forestry was instrumental in stopping the northeast progression of the Haystack Fire. One of the best ways to protect Alaska communities from wildfire and reduce firefighting costs is constructing fuel breaks between populated areas and wildlands or forested areas. The Division of Forestry recently received $5 million from the State Legislature for fuels reduction programs and is currently assessing and prioritizing fuels reduction projects around the state. Fuel breaks have played an important role in fighting several recent fires that threatened Alaska communities, including Funny River Fire in 2014, East Fork Fire in 2018, Shovel Creek and Swan Lake fires in 2019, and now the Haystack Fire.
Incident Commander, Ed Sanford, will hold a community meeting outdoors at the Haystack Mountain Laundry and Showers (5001 Haystack Drive) at 7:00pm on Tuesday, June 22. The intent of the meeting is to present information about operations for Haystack Fire (#196) and identify community concerns that may influence objectives and strategies. Members of the incident management team and agency representatives will be available to answer questions.
The Moose Creek Cabin in the White Mountains National Recreation Area is closed due to proximity to the fire. The Bureau of Land Management will continue to monitor the fire status and resume reservations when firefighting efforts in the area are reduced.
Fairbanks North Star Borough Emergency Operations encourages residents to sign up for wildland fire information alerts issued by the borough by texting “FNSB2021Wildfire” to 226787.
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.
Public Information: (907) 931- 8113 Email: 2021.Haystack@firenet.gov
Categories: AK Fire Info