Strong southeasterly winds pushed the northern edge of the Dry Creek Fire (#195) four miles to the northwest toward the Tanana River Wednesday afternoon. The fire will likely continue to be active today due to the forecasted dry, windy weather. Winds are predicted out of the southwest with gusts up to 20 mph.
While the fire is expanding on all sides, it was crowning through black spruce trees on the northern edge closest to the Tanana River Wednesday. The rest of the fire perimeter was smoldering. The fire is about quarter mile south of the Tanana River extending from the Zitziana River to the Tanana River boat launch. It is about three miles southeast from the nearest Native allotment near the river confluence with the Hot Springs Slough. The fire has burned about 12,000 acres since it and the Zitziana River Fire started June 14 following a lightning strike. The two fires merged days later to become the Dry Creek Fire. There are 35 firefighting personnel assigned to this fire either on the fire line or supporting work from Manley Hot Springs about three miles to the north. The 20-person BLM Alaska Fire Service Chena Hotshots is expected to arrive in Manley today.
Firefighters, including the 20-person Medford #10 Type 2 Initial Attack Crew from Oregon, are constructing fire breaks around Native allotments on the south side of the Tanana River in case the fire encroaches. Firefighters checked a cabin a mile north of the fire Wednesday to make sure equipment was in place to protect it if the flames move closer. There are a number of natural barriers between the fire and this cabin.
Fire managers are working on coming up with contingency plans to conduct burn operations around some of the allotments to protect them from the fire in the upcoming days. Removing the vegetation ahead of the fire in a slow, methodical manner will create a protective buffer for these allotments.
Fire growth is very limited to the south due to the 2018 Zitziana River Fire and wind direction. The Dry Creek Fire significantly slows when it reaches a stand of hardwoods, which would hamper its movement toward the Mooseheart Mountain about 16 miles to the southwest. Instead, the wind is pushing the flames through black spruce trees and tundra that are mixed in with hardwoods.
|Start date: July 14||Acres: 12,000||Personnel assigned: 35||Crews: 1||Cause: Lightning|