Drone Pilots seek out Hotspots on the Haystack Fire

Start Date: 06/14/2021                                Location: 18 miles N of Fairbanks, AK

Cause: Lightning                                          Fire Size: 924 acres

Containment: 100%                                   Total Personnel: 250

(Fairbanks, AK) – Late last night, Incident Commander, Ed Sanford, announced crews have reached 100 percent containment on the Haystack Fire (#196). Firefighters still have several days of mop up work ahead before control objectives will be reached.

A moist, southwest flow is again changing the weather in the Fairbanks area, favoring fire suppression efforts. Temperatures are expected to cool, and rain is forecast for Tuesday evening into Wednesday. These conditions are expected to continue to decrease the potential for active fire behavior.

Unmanned Aircraft System Pilots prepare to launch drone on Haystack Fire

Until the cool, wet weather arrives, hot spots remain a concern, particularly in the southwestern portion of the fire. Firefighters continue to walk grid lines throughout the burned area and in the surrounding green vegetation, finding and cooling hot spots. Fire can follow roots deep into the soil. Dens, rodent caches, and other holes created by animals can also provide pathways for fire to burn deep into the ground. Ash pits can form in these deeply burned areas, which can harbor hot embers for a substantial length of time.

Haystack Fire Information Map Saturday, June 26 Click Here for PDF

For the next several days, pilots are scheduled to deploy firefighting unmanned aircraft systems over the Haystack Fire. These aircraft, also known as drones, are equipped with infrared photography equipment. This technology can gather information quickly, reducing helicopter flight time, and keeping firefighters working safely on the ground. The data pinpoint the locations where the fire has burned deeply and more work is needed.

The unmanned aircraft systems fly within the temporary flight restriction (TFR) that was established for the Haystack Fire to control aircraft in the vicinity of the fire, providing a safe operating environment for firefighting aircraft. Please respect the TFR; keep drones away from the fire and firefighting operations. If you fly, we can’t. Don’t be the reason a firefighting air mission has to divert! For more information on the TFR, visit https://tfr.faa.gov.

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.

Public Information: (907) 931- 8113        Email: 2021.Haystack@firenet.gov


Categories: AK Fire Info


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