The BLM Alaska Fire Service is wrapping up work on a pair of Yukon Flats fire this week as the days get shorter, cooler and wetter. With work reaching completion, equipment and firefighting personnel will be pulled from both the Marten Creek Fire (#386) and the Discovery Creek Fire (#388) on Wednesday. There will be a flurry of activity in Venetie for the next couple of days while this occurs. The BLM AFS station in Fort Yukon that has been providing support to both fires should be closed by the end of the week. Both fires will then be placed into monitor status.
The Alaska Division of Forestry’s White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack (T2IA) Crew demobilized from the Marten Creek Fire on Monday, leaving the Tanana Chiefs T2IA Crew to finish the containment line and tie it into a marshy area on the southwest corner. Between the containment line that wraps part-way around the finger on the fire’s southwestern edge closest to Venetie and the cooler, wetter weather, fire managers consider the village and nearby historic cabins sufficiently protected. The fire has not made any movement toward Venetie, located about 10 miles to the southwest, or the cabins 4-6 miles south, in weeks. Despite no growth on the fires for the past week, neither the Marten Creek nor the Discovery Creek Fire burning about 30 miles northwest of Venetie are considered out until they experience a season-ending weather event.
Despite not receiving a considerable amount of rainfall to help put out all the hot spots, fire activity has significantly moderated on the Discovery Creek Fire due to the moist, cool weather. Smokejumpers and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanook Fire Crew were tasked with protecting a Native allotment at the confluence of the Chekhechunnjik Creek and the North Fork of the East Fork of the Teedriinjik (Chandalar) River. The Nanook Fire Crew finished work on Sunday leaving six smokejumpers to finishing mopping up and fortifying a control line leading from the southwestern edge of the allotment to Coal Creek before flying out tomorrow.
According to the National Weather Service, a front will move east over the fires today, bringing drier but cooler conditions with temperatures in the 50s. Outside of two weekend fires that ignited and were quickly put to bed near Delta Junction over the weekend, these two Yukon Flats fires have been the only staffed wildfires for the past few weeks. With the significantly cooler and wetter weather across Alaska, the wildfire season is coming to an end.
Most of Alaska’s firefighting personnel and aircraft have migrated south to help with a very busy fire season in the Western U.S. For the time being, state and federal wildfire managers will continue to keep enough personnel and aircraft on hand to sufficient respond to new wildfires in Alaska.
This will be the last update for both the Marten Creek and Discovery Creek fires. For more information, call the Alaska Fire Information Office at (907)356-5511, or follow BLM AFS on Facebook (@BLMAFs).
|Fire||Cause||Start Date||Estimated Acres||Personnel Assigned|
|Marten Creek||Lightning||July 25||2,662||24|
|Discovery Creek||Lightning||July 26||7,696||6|