Fire activity increased along much of the northeast and southwest portions of the Clear Fire yesterday afternoon due to increased winds as well as hot and dry conditions. However, the fire’s visible smoke column was due to unburned islands of natural vegetation and debris burning within the interior.
Isolated group torching and short-range spotting caused the fire to spot across the established line to the northeast and southwest. Crews monitoring the areas are currently working to contain these spot fires and “slop overs.” The fire also spotted across the Teklanika River along the fire’s northwestern flank last night. With the help of aerial resources, this spot fire was successfully contained without any reported damage to structures.
To the south, crews are using a variety of strategies to slow the progress of the fire into areas with structures. This includes air resources dropping retardant and ground crews preparing for strategic burn-out operations along constructed dozer lines. These operations serve to reduce available fuels between the fire and structures. Crews are also “plumbing” structures with hose lays, a method used to provide water around threatened homes and other structures.
Dry thunderstorms did not affect fire operations yesterday but still has the potential to affect operations today. A Red Flag Warning is still in effect through this afternoon due to high temperatures in the 80s and relative humidity in the 20s. Erratic winds are also expected. Temperatures are expected to be cooler next week with an increase in humidity.
A second community meeting is planned for tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Anderson Fire Hall (911 D Street). The meeting will be streamed live on the Alaska Division of Forestry Facebook page.
Fire danger is extremely high as we approach the Fourth of July weekend. Alaska’s Division of Forestry & Fire Protection (DOF) issued an Emergency Burn Closure Order as of July 1. This order restricts all burning at the state and local level that requires a burn permit. For more information go to: akfireinfo.com. In addition, Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office has suspended use of fireworks across much of Alaska. For more information, visit: dps.alaska.gov
Ready (Prepare your property): All areas including the City of Anderson, Clear, Clear Space Force Station, Bear Creek and June Creek.
Set (Prepare your “go bag”): All cabins along the Teklanika River between two and five miles of the current fire perimeter.
GO (Evacuate now) : All areas accessed by Kobe Road. All cabins along the Teklanika River within two miles of the current fire perimeter.
Sheltering or evacuation-related information: Contact the Denali Borough at (907) 683-1330, see the Borough’s Facebook page or visit denaliborough.org All other fire information: Clear Fire Information, (907) 290-2921; Alaska Fire Information, (907) 356-5511; akfireinfo.com, inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8178, and on the Alaska Division of Forestry and BLM Alaska Fire Service Facebook pages.
Today is National Wildland Firefighter Day. Thank you to all the wildland firefighters in Alaska and across the nation for your hard work and dedication!