Due to the Dry Creek Fire’s progress to the northwest near the Tanana River in recent days, fire managers are considering taking additional steps to protect a Native allotment from the encroaching fire. If conditions allow, firefighters could conduct a burn operation as early as today to protect the allotment that sits near the confluence of the Tanana River and Hot Springs Slough. Burning a swath of land consisting mostly of tundra tussocks with some hardwoods and spruce will remove the burnable vegetation ahead of the fire in a slow, methodical manner to provide a protective buffer.
Eight smokejumpers and the 20-person BLM Alaska Fire Service Chena Hotshots mobilized to the fire Thursday. They’ll assist the Medford #10 Type 2 Initial Attack crew in finishing construction on an indirect control line outside the allotment that firefighters can use to anchor the burn operation from. This will give fire managers the option to start ignitions today if conditions are conducive for burning. The forecast calls for 70-degree temperatures, humidity levels as low as 35% with south winds 5-10 mph.
Strong southeasterly winds pushed the northern edge of the Dry Creek Fire (#195) four miles to the northwest toward the Tanana River Wednesday afternoon with more growth observed on Thursday due to consistent 20 mph southwesterly winds. This fire is still south of the Tanana River. Fire managers estimated the Dry Creek Fire burning south of the Manley Hot Springs and Tanana River, has burned as many as 18,000 acres, making it the largest fire in Alaska.
A contingent of suppression aircraft including water scoopers and an air tanker are on stand-by in Fairbanks in case they’re need to help slow the fire’s movement.
|Start date: July 14||Acres: 18,000||Personnel assigned: 63||Crews: 2||Cause: Lightning|