The Contact Creek Fire (#151), burning 40 miles southeast of King Salmon, continues to be monitored by National Park Service and DOF personnel as it burns in a limited management area in Katmai National Park & Preserve. The fire is currently estimated to be 1,500 acres in size and will continue to grow due to the lack of rain and the availability of sun dried ground fuels. However, fire managers from the National Park Service have stated that even a small amount of rain would help to halt fire growth as the tundra at depth is still retaining moisture from the winter. At the time of aerial observation, the fire had a 100% active perimeter with an east wind. It is burning in approximately the top three inches of vegetation where conditions have dried and is considered a “shallow burn”.
The fire is burning twenty miles from the nearest native allotment. Crews have finished wrapping a Remote Automated Weather System (RAWS) located approximately 1.5 miles from the fire in protective structure wrap to reduce the impacts of the fire if it should it reach the weather system.
Residents in Southwest Alaska may see smoke in the King Salmon area due to this fire.
Regular aerial surveillance will occur and updates will be added to the top of this post as new details or images become available.
The Division of Forestry works closely with federal, state, and local emergency response agencies as well as private industry vendors to provide wildland fire management and protection for the State of Alaska.