Additional crew begins working on Marten Creek Fire

Firefighters with red gear bags unloaded from an airplane
The Alaska Division of Forestry’s White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack Crew organizes gear unloaded from a BLM Alaska airplane at the airstrip in Venetie on Aug. 7, 2021. The crew is working on the Marten Creek Fire about 10 miles northeast of the village. Photo by Bob McCormick, BLM AFS

The two water-dropping airplanes worked the southwestern edge of the fire Saturday while the Alaska Division of Forestry White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack Crew arrived in Venetie to begin work on the Marten Creek Fire (#386). The crew plans a more direct approach to secure a section on the southwest edge to limit the spread toward historical cabins four to six miles to the south and Venetie 10 miles to the southwest. The airplanes are prepositioned at Fort Yukon today in case they’re needed to cool the edge in front of the crew.

  • Smoke drifting up from forest fire.
  • Smoke drifting up from forest fire.
  • Smoke drifting up from forest fire.

Cooler and damper weather had moderated fire behavior on it and the Discovery Creek Fire (#388) as well as fires throughout Alaska in the past few days. The Yukon Flats continues to be the last hold out on Alaska’s fire season as temperatures in the 60s and mostly sunny skies were present over both fires Saturday after a morning full of rain. Firefighters reported that despite 80% of the Marten Creek Fire’s perimeter being active, there wasn’t much growth Saturday. Scattered showers are predicted today, however, firefighters reported the weather on the fire area has been drier and sunnier than expected the past couple of days.

The BLM Alaska Fire Service North Star Crew will continue and connect fire breaks around the village before joining the White Mountain Crew to wrap up the North Star Crew’s two-week assignment on the Marten Creek Fire Tuesday. The Type 2 Initial Attack Tanana Chiefs Crew will arrive on Monday to assist with the construction of a more direct control line closer to the fire’s southern edge.

Meanwhile, the Discovery Creek Fire has a mixture of BLM Alaska Fire Service smokejumpers and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanook Fire Crew working to protect a Native allotment at the confluence of the Chekhechunnjik Creek and the North Fork of the East Fork of the Teedriinjik (Chandalar) River. Smokejumpers and the Nanook Crew will be busy mopping up the fire’s edge. The fire is held up in white spruce along the northern edge of the allotment near the Chekhechunnjik Creek.

According to the forecast, the chance of wetting rain increases as a second front approaches the area from the south later today. Mostly cloudy skies and elevated moisture should help keep things tempered and allow firefighters to concentrate on building that control line closer to the Marten Creek Fire’s edge and allow firefighters to mop up the edge of the Discovery Creek Fire. Light northeasterly winds are predicted through Monday, which could push the Marten Creek Fire toward Venetie.

Fire Cause Start Date Estimated Acres Personnel Assigned 
Marten Creek Lightning July 25 2,533 51 
Discovery Creek Lightning July 26 4,52732
Map of Marten Creek Fire (#386) burning about 10 miles northeast of Venetie on Aug. 8. 2021.
Map of Marten Creek Fire (#386) burning about 10 miles northeast of Venetie on Aug. 8. 2021. Click on map for PDF version.


Categories: Active Wildland Fire, BLM Alaska Fire Service

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