The Dry Creek Fire burning south of Manley Hot Springs was active Thursday, gaining about 8,000 acres; mostly to the west. The fire is still south of the Tanana River and west of the Zitziana River, which are two of the goals for firefighters managing the 40,459-acre lightning-caused fire. Another is to protect cabins and Native allotments in the area.
The hot dry weather pushed the fire’s west edge into stands of black spruce and into an area burned in 2018. That movement will continue today with the predicted southeast winds and possible thunderstorms.
The BLM AFS Chena Hotshots continue to mop up a successfully conducted a burn operation to protect Native allotments along the Tanana River Friday from the advancing Dry Creek Fire. The North Star Crew – BLM Alaska Fire Service’s training crew – has installed or fortified protection measures on a couple of Native allotments along the south banks of the Tanana River to the east of the Zitziana River and are now working on a third. Meanwhile, smokejumpers are doing a site assessment on a cluster of cabins on the Tanana River farther to the southeast to come up with a structure protection plan. The fire is still quite a distance from these Native allotments and cabins. Plus, the east side of the fire is exhibiting minimal activity as it remains to the east of the Zitziana River.
There is a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) in place for the fire area due to the need to advise aviators of the increased firefighting aircraft in and around the Manley Hot Springs airport (PAML). Firefighting aircraft are monitoring the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) of 122.8. We ask aviators in the area to please monitor PAML CTAF, report their position, keep eyes peeled and ears tuned in for air traffic in the area. There are several aircraft in this area– helicopters , airplanes and Unmanned Aerial Systems, or drones – helping with firefighting efforts. The NOTAM is for the airspace 10 nautical miles (NM) southwest to southeast from PAML, up to an altitude of 3,500 feet. Geographically speaking from the airport, 10 NM downstream, 10 NM upstream of the Tanana River and the area south of the river up to 10 NM.