More crews ordered for Marten Creek Fire near Venetie

Fire activity has moderated around the state, freeing up crews and other resources as the Marten Creek Fire (#386) burning 10 miles northeast of Venetie transitions back into a Type 3 management organization today. The Tanana Chiefs and Alaska Division of Forestry’s White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack crews will be traveling to Venetie in the next few days to help ramp up efforts on the 3,000-acre fire. In addition to the two crews, more personnel will arrive in Venetie and Fort Yukon to help manage the firefighting efforts and coordinate the logistical needs on the fire.

A mixture of cool, moist weather subdued the Marten Creek Fire and the nearby Discovery Creek Fire (#388) burning about 30 miles northwest of Venetie. The moderated fire behavior and additional crews will allow fire managers to consider a more direct approach to secure a section on the southwest edge of the Marten Creek Fire to limit the spread toward historical cabins four to six miles to the south and Venetie to the southwest. The fire was smoldering and creeping with a low rate of spread Friday.

So far, firefighters, including the BLM Alaska Fire Service North Star Crew, have implemented protection measures around the village and the cabins. The White Mountain Crew is scheduled to arrive in Venetie today, but will work to establish a control line closer to the fire’s southwestern edge. The North Star Crew will finish fortifying the 3.4 miles of indirect fire breaks around Venetie and join the White Mountain Crew closer to the fire tomorrow. The TCC Crew is scheduled to arrive in a few days.

The Discovery Creek Fire has a mixture of BLM Alaska Fire Service smokejumpers and the the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanook Fire Crew working to protect a Native allotment directly threatened by the 2,533-acre fire. Firefighters reported the fire area received rain for four hours Saturday morning. Smokejumpers and the Nanook Crew will be busy mopping up a burn operation on the west side of the fire and cutting a saw line to Coal Creek to the west to help keep the fire from hooking around and impacting the allotment at the confluence of the Chekhechunnjik Creek and the North Fork of the East Fork of the Teedriinjik (Chandalar) River.

Despite the cooler weather, fire danger in the Yukon Flats remains the highest in the state due to dry fuels that still need a significant amount of wetting rain to moisten. However, firefighters will take advantage of the calmer winds and wetter weather to establish control lines in case a drying trend returns next week.

FireCauseStart DateEstimated AcresPersonnel Assigned
Marten CreekLightningJuly 253,00032
Discovery CreekLightningJuly 262,53433


Categories: Active Wildland Fire, BLM Alaska Fire Service


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