Crews make good progress in East Fork fire operations

June 16, 2022, Daily Update, 10:00 AM

East Fork Fire
STATS: 150,651 acres
Location: 3.7 miles northwest of St. Mary’s
Personnel: 255
Start Date: May 31, 2022
Cause: Natural, Lightning
Fuels: A mix of tundra, brush, and black spruce

Apoon Pass Fire
STATS: 63,056 acres
Location: 24 miles north of Mountain Village

ST. MARY’S, Alaska. – The East Fork Fire-fighting crews have wrapped up a few big projects. The fire is still active, but progression has slowed and the fire is moving away from communities.

Operations: Firefighters have secured the buildings and the site around the East Fork Andreafsky River weir. Firefighters have been pulled off the site and plans are underway to resume operation of the weir.

Get a birds-eye view of the East Fork Fire from the cockpit.
Video by AK IMT/Karen Scholl.

Final preparations on the contingency lines protecting St. Mary’s, Pitka’s Point, and Mountain Village are being completed. Aerial ignition with the UAS to secure the southwestern toe of the fire has been successfully completed. Crews have completed construction of two contingency lines around the village of Pilot Station. Yesterday the UAS flew with infrared sensors to identify any hot spots on the southern edge of the fire west of the North Fork of the Andreafsky River. The area is secure, but will continue to be monitored.

The fire has advanced along several fronts: the northwestern edge into the wilderness area; in a section along the western flank (outpacing control efforts); and a run in the east through some alder and spruce. Direct attack operations along the western and eastern flanks will continue. Assessments of structures and allotments along the river system also continue today.

Aerial monitoring of both the East Fork and Apoon Pass fires will continue regularly in order to identify any allotments, structures, or cultural sites that may be at risk. As a reminder, temporary flight restrictions remain in effect (

East Fork Fire map for June 16, 2022.

Evacuations: No evacuation order is in place. Some residents have chosen to shelter temporarily in Bethel with support from the Red Cross and Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.

Ready: St. Mary’s and Pitkas Point are currently in “Ready” position.

Set: No communities at this time.

Go: No communities at this time.

Weather: Light northeasterly winds overnight pushed smoke into St. Mary’s, but today the winds will switch back from the southeast. Expect similar wind shifts again tonight and tomorrow. A slow-moving low-pressure system is coming in from the Bering Sea over the next couple days. That system could bring isolated showers on Friday night, though a wetting rain is not expected. The system will clear on Saturday and temperatures will warm with drying variable winds.

East Fork Fire Information:
Phone: (907) 290-2852

Statewide Fire Blog:

Categories: AK Fire Info

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