Aviation assets bolstered to minimize fire growth in Lime Complex as fuel indices reach near record highs

June 26, 2022, Daily Update, 9:30 am
Defensive burning around values at risk near Horseshoe Lake.
Credit: Alaska Incident Management Team

The total complex size is 542,800 acres. There are over 230 total resources assigned to the various fires, including two Type 1 Hotshot crews, one Type 2 Initial Attack Hand crew, two fire modules, ten boats, four helicopters and various overhead.  

Highlights: Strong sustained winds from the south/southeast and high to extreme fuel indices increased fire activity yesterday and will continue today. Aviation assets were increased in preparation for the red flag conditions yesterday and were focused on keeping the fire perimeters cool to limit growth. Increased smoke reduced visibility which limited air resource support until around 3:00 p.m. yesterday. While there will be similar conditions today, it’s expected that visibility will improve earlier in the day allowing more time for air resources to support the crews on the ground. Structure protection measures continue to be deployed for values at risk in multiple impacts areas. Community members are encouraged to be aware any fire activity in the area and not to interfere with fire operations. 

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) was established yesterday for the area over fires Pike Creek (#239)/Koktuli River (#240) and Upper Talarik (#205).This TFR originally included Illiamna because aircraft are scooping water out of Lake Illiamna but was later reduced to encompass just the fire area, to be mindful that accessing Illiamna is very important to the region. It is asked to please avoid the area if at all possible to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft and to reduce the potential for air-to-air collisions. 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. With the expected increase in fire activity, aircraft presence will continue to increase. 

Weather: The red flag warning issued yesterday came to fruition and fire activity increased. Winds are expected to be similar to yesterday, though speeds will start to increase earlier in the day with gusts to 25-30 mph. Today should be slightly cooler due to increased cloud cover, resulting in relative humidity staying above critical levels. There was a fair amount of drying and warm temperatures yesterday though, so the fires are expected to remain active. Fire activity and smoke are anticipated to continue throughout the day. 

Lime Complex Southwest Alaska Wildfire Update with Operations Chief Jon Glover for June 26, 2022
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) 

Another crew of rappelers were inserted in the Horseshoe Lake area yesterday preparing the values at risk by implementing defensive firing around a cabin. The defensive firing operations are prepped around Trout Lake but plans to hold off until weather dictates a need or the main fire advances toward the cabin sites. 

Gannett Glacier Fire crew finalized the saw line and in process of completing the final preparations with contingency pumps and hoses at the village. Crews are assessing additional resource needs for structure protection on values at risk on the north side of the river and are in place and postured to protect the values at risk in and around the village of Lime. 

The Door Mountain Fire has picked up in activity on the western side and the Door Creek Fire on the north side. It’s anticipated that these fires may merge at some point. 

Pike Creek (#239)/Koktuli River (#240) ~ 161,983 combined acres, Lighting start; point protection and structure protection are ongoing. The fire is 35 miles north of Iguigig. 

The fire was active on all sides yesterday and continued growth to the north is expected today. Aerial resources continue to drop water on southern edge of the fire and along the Mulchatna River which is a natural barrier along the western flank. A group of eight fire bosses (single engine air tankers on floats) arrived and were active yesterday. Keeping the western fire perimeter cool has been instrumental in keeping the fire from crossing the river. The Unaweep Fire Module has been shifted over to assist with this fire along with a National Park Service Module that arrived yesterday. With the increased personnel and air resources in place to support, fire managers are confident the Mulchatna River will continue to hold. 

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) ~116,309 acres, Lightning start, point protection and structure protection are ongoing. The fire remains 51 miles east of Aniak.  

A reconnaissance was completed of the Kuskokwim area and no noticeable fire activity was observed. The resources assigned to this fire were split and the Winema hotshots were pulled out to check on the Gagaryah River and Stony River Fires and assist the North Point Protection Group on structure protection to the northwest and southwest of the Stony River Fire perimeter. 

Unstaffed Fires 

Dummy Creek Fire (#247) ~ 178 acres 

Cabin Creek Fire (#193) ~ 74 acres 

Gagaryah River Fire (#197) ~ 35,017 acres 

Kiknik Fire (245) ~ 45,734 acres 

Maka Creek Fire (#207) ~ 1 acre 

Nushagak River Fire (#189) ~ 10 acres 

Stony River Fire (#198) ~ 36,051 acres 

Telaquana River Fire (#216) ~7,791 acres 

Titnuk Creek Fire (#246) ~ 53,290 acres 

Upper Talarik (#205) ~ 3,780 acres 

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.  

Public Information: Phone number: (907) 290-2699, Email 2022.limecomplex@firenet.gov Facebook: facebook.com/AK.Forestry/ Website: akfireinfo.com Twitter:@AKforestry 

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info, Alaska DNR - Division of Forestry (DOF)

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