June 23, 2022, Daily Update, 9:30 am
The total complex size is 494,030 acres. There are over 219 total resources assigned to the various fires, including two Type 1 Hotshot crews, one Type 2 Initial Attack Hand crew, four helicopters and various overhead.
Highlights: Weather continues a warming and drying trend throughout the rest of the week and into the weekend. Fire managers anticipate the increase of the active fire perimeters due to the drying of vegetation and the gusty winds that will impact the region. The firefighters that are staffing the various fires have been concentrating on doing structure preparations to anticipate the fire to progress closer to values at risk. Structure protection entails setting up pumps, hose lays and sprinkler systems around structures. Once these are in place, they are tested to ensure that when needed, they work as anticipated.
Weather: Due to the vastness of the region that is being impacted, the weather forecast was split into Northern and Southern areas. The southern group consists of the fires on the southern half of the region and the weather that has been impacting those areas has been moderate overnight due to a marine layer that dampers fire behavior. To the east, the Koktuli River Fire (#240) did not get the marine layer and the weather remained sunny and very dry. The northern group of fires had cloud cover that helped keep temperatures to the 60 degree range that moderated the fires some, yet the winds were sustained at around 20mph. The winds were a driving factor to perimeter growth of the fires in the area.
There is a high-pressure ridge that is expected to bring temperatures into the lower 80-degree range. Sustained winds are expected to be widespread from Southwest region through south central. Due to this impact of weather, there will be a measurable increase in fire behavior and measurable growth along the active fire perimeters. Preparation of the communities will continue as a protection measure in anticipation of this weather trend. Communities in the area will likely experience smoke as the wind shifts throughout the day.
Staffed Fires in the Complex
North Group consists of the South Lime Lake Fire (#190)/Swift River Fire (#228), Pike Creek (#239)/Koktuli River (#240), Door Mountain Fire (#244), Door Creek Fire (#273) and the Hook Creek Fire (#188)
Pioneer Peak Hotshots have been working on clearing a large contingency line that was established around Lime village. This line needed to be cleared of brush because it was overgrown. Pioneer peak did a lot of chain saw work to clear the area and the line has been completed. Gannett Glacier Fire crew is in there now to continue the work to prepare it with pumps and hoses to complete it as a contingency for the village. Pioneer Peak Hotshots will be brought back to Palmer to get days off before returning to continue the great work they have already put in.
The Helitack crew and rappelers will continue their work from Tundra and Trout Lake to evaluate the values at risk, and to prepare cabins and outlying structures for the potential for any threat of fire.
Pike Creek (#239)/Koktuli River (#240) ~ 117,985 combined acres, Lighting start; point protection and structure protection are ongoing. The fire remains 36 miles north of Iguigig.
The fire continues to receive steady winds with up to 20 mph gusts. Perimeter growth continues the southwestern edge and is progressing to natural barriers like riparian areas, and areas with little along the Koktuli and Mulchatna rivers. The crews are focusing on building contingency lines in the event that the natural barriers are not enough to keep it contained.
Smokejumpers are working on structure protection planning and implementation southwest of the fire near the Chatna lodge. The Unaweep Fire use module will be relocated to this area to continue the work that the smokejumpers have done. The jumpers will be brought back to Fairbanks for days off and to be available for any new fire starts in Alaska. Both an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) drone module, and helicopter remain assigned to these fires to monitor fire movement, and to act as necessary on identified known sites.
Aghaluk Mountain (#206) ~114,966 acres, Lightning start, point protection and structure protection are ongoing. The fire remains 51 miles east of Aniak.
Structure protection plans are being implemented around identified values in and around Sleetmute and Red Devil. Crews are utilizing boats to continue to scout for and prep the values on the west side of the fire from Napiamute to Crooked Creek. No significant fire growth was seen throughout the day and the weather around this fire was moderate. Winema Hotshots, and the 5-person helitack module remain on the fire to finish the structure protection plans, and to test the set up to ensure it works as intended.
Upper Talarik (#205) ~2,442 acres, Lighting start, point protection, and structure protection are ongoing. The fire is 16 miles from Iliamna.
This fire continues to show active fire movement along the southwest perimeter. Unaweep Fire use module took immediate defensive measures on known sites in the area. The planned burn-out operation was initiated and successful. This operation will continue today due to the weather which is expected to push the perimeter to the south. Once the defensive burning operations are complete, the necessary protection measures will be in place for any futher fire impact of that area. Due to this, Unaweep will be relocated to assist on other fires to continue preparation of other values.
Dummy Creek Fire (#247)~ 178 acres
Cabin Creek Fire (#193)~ 74 acres
Gagaryah River Fire (#197)~ 34,639 acres
Kiknik Fire (245)~ 45,524 acres
Maka Creek Fire (#207)~ 1 acre
Nushagak River Fire (#189)~ 10 acres
Stony River Fire (#198) ~ 35,664 acres
Telaquana River Fire (#216) ~7,791 acres,
Titnuk Creek Fire (#246)~ 53,167 acres,
Due to the vastness of this area, many of these fires do not have Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) in place. However, a significant number of aircraft including fixed wing aerial observation platforms; general logistics aircraft; helicopters moving personnel; and supplies and dropping water, will be working all throughout southwest Alaska.
Lime Complex fires under the Black Team management include #188, 189, 190, 193 197, 198, 205, 206, 207, 216, 228, 239, 240, 244, 245, 246, 247 and 273. As threats increase to values at risk, updates on suppression strategy and tactics will be provided.