June 19, 2022, Daily Update, 10:00 AM
East Fork Fire
STATS: 163,185 acres
Location: 3.7 miles northwest of St. Mary’s
Start Date: May 31, 2022
Cause: Natural, Lightning
Fuels: A mix of tundra, brush, and black spruce
% Contained: 100% of containment objective (71% of the fire)
Apoon Pass Fire
STATS: 72,499 acres
Location: 24 miles north of Mountain Village
ST. MARY’S, Alaska. – There is still some heat showing on the northern edge of the East Fork Fire with potential for slow progression, creeping and smoldering, into the Andreafsky Wilderness. The fire edge outside of the wilderness has been contained or confined. Crews are continuing to focus on structure protection on allotments, mopping up to secure containment line, and equipment removal. The Apoon Pass Fire will continue to be monitored.
Operations: Crews pulled equipment from Mountain Village after the completion of several projects in the community. Primary and secondary indirect lines are in place and plumbed around the communities of St. Mary’s, Pitkas Point, and Mountain Village. If necessary, they can be activated on short notice. The west flank has been secured north to the wilderness boundary along a strong north-south drainage.
The eastern flank of the fire that crossed the east bank of the East Fork River is being secured in order to provide protection for Pilot Station and allotments to the east. This work should be completed today. A pre-existing fuel break around Pilot Station has been improved and construction of a second indirect line around the community is complete. The southern toe of the fire between the Andreafsky River (North Fork) and the East Fork has been burned out and is currently being monitored. The fire is being allowed to spread naturally to the north into the Andreafsky Wilderness and away from communities. Firefighters are working on structure and allotment protection north of the fire in the wilderness area with assessments continuing.
An assessment of the Apoon Pass Fire did not detect any heat sources. Crews continue to conduct reconnaissance to identify any other potential values for protection. Aerial monitoring of both the East Fork and Apoon Pass fires will continue regularly to identify hot spots, ensure containment lines are holding, and to identify any allotments, structures, or cultural sites that may be at risk. As a reminder, temporary flight restrictions remain in effect (https://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.jsp).
Evacuations: No evacuation orders are in place. Everyone who had temporarily relocated to the shelter in Bethel has returned home and the shelter closed as of Saturday evening. Smoke from the East Fork Fire, Apoon Pass Fire, and fires in southwest Alaska could impact air quality. Keep appraised of fires in the area and air quality at: https://fire.airnow.gov/
Weather: Light showers overnight will continue as scattered showers today. Overnight northeasterly winds may bring residual smoke from the East Fork Fire into the area, but smoke should clear out again as the winds transition back to south-southwesterly direction next week. The Team meteorologist predicts mild weather and light, variable winds for the coming week.
Categories: AK Fire Info