(Clear, Alaska) — Note that on July 3, there was a change to wildland fire evacuation risk levels. The communities of Anderson and Clear have changed to SET status. (See more detail at bottom of report.)
Weather: The RED FLAG WARNING has been extended through today due to predictions of thunderstorms that could produce lightning and instability in the atmosphere. There is a chance for isolated showers in this morning. As the week continues and temperatures trend slightly downward, there is more chance for wetting rain over the fire area.
Fire Activity: Yesterday, fire managers divided the Clear Fire area into two branches: Branch I in the north, and Branch II in the south. Within each branch, there are multiple divisions. Both branches and divisions are a way of dividing the fire into geographic areas. This serves to maintain appropriate span of control and helps with the distribution of resources throughout the fire area.
On the west side of the fire, firefighters are allowing the natural barrier of the Teklanika River to limit the fire’s advance. This area is being patrolled by aircraft and boats, and crews are on the lookout for any changes. On the northwest corner, fire behavior is minimal. Firefighters will continue securing the heel of the fire and lay hose into this area to assist with mop up activities. On the northern-most perimeter, fire behavior is limited to smoldering and creeping but heat remains in the area. Yesterday, firefighters removed dead vegetation from around structures to help eliminate fuels, and they will do so again today.
There was active fire on the east side yesterday, particularly around the east-to-west dozer line on the north side of Kobe Ag subdivision. Here, firefighters worked aggressively to check the fire’s spread. They collaborated with aircraft and dozers to create direct (against the fire’s edge) fire line. Helicopters first dropped water to cool the area and create a tenable working environment. Dozers proceeded next to remove layers of soil, followed by crews on foot who continued improving the line. Today, these activities will continue. On the south side of the Kobe Ag subdivision, crews also encountered extremely challenging conditions yesterday. Fire was active, the area was dense with smoke, and the variable winds created dust devils. These conditions hampered attempts to construct direct fire line. Firefighters were still able to perform some strategic burn-out operations to help impede fire spread, and firefighters successfully controlled multiple spot fires in this area. Crews will attempt to create direct fire line when conditions allow, including when smoke has dissipated enough for helicopters to fly and assist operations. There was approximately 0.1“ of rain in this area last night, and crews are optimistic this will offer a window for work today. A dozer and masticator are also operating on the south end of the subdivision just east of the fire to create more fuel breaks between the fire and structures.
On the southeast section of the fire, firefighters are working to access and protect structures. However, intense smoke and unsafe conditions hindered yesterday’s attempts. Fire behavior has been primarily fuel driven in this area, with the black spruce torching and throwing spot fires. Access to this area has been a challenge but crews will continue their attempts when conditions allow, and when it is safe to do so.
The fire remains about six miles from the city of Anderson. Here, firefighters are improving fuel breaks and are prepared to conduct initial attack on any new fire starts in the area should the need arise.
Ready (Prepare your property): All areas WEST of the Nenana River between Parks Highway MP 264 – 269, including Bear Creek and June Creek areas.
Set (Prepare your “go bag”): All areas WEST of the Nenana River between Parks Highway MP 269 – 274. The city of Anderson, Clear and Clear Space Force Station. All areas EAST of the Nenana River between Parks Highway MP 275 – 302. 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.