Air operations ramp up on the Bean Complex as smoke lifts

Saw Team 4 from the Vale Hotshots-Mike Bush and Carter Brown wait to load into the boat on the Tanana River at Manley Hot Springs. Photo Credit: BLM
Bean Complex Public Information Map July 6, 2022

The road to get firefighters into the four largest fires in the Bean Complex ends at Manley Hot Springs on the Tanana River. Beyond there, the only route to work is by helicopter or boat. The past few days have been too smoky to allow safe aviation, so a system for moving folks by boat along the Tanana River is used.

Strong and erratic winds from recent thunderstorms pushed the Tanana River Fire (#310), at the confluence of the Tolovana and Tanana Rivers, into new and difficult ground. The firefighters from fires at the western end of the Complex near the Chitanana and Cosna Rivers have undertaken the two-day boat trip up the Tanana to fight the fire there. Yesterday, visibility improved over the fire, and firefighters responded with four water-scooping aircraft to join the attack.

Today, moisture and instability moving into the region will bring continued chances for late day and evening thunderstorms. Thunderstorms may produce lightning and gusty, erratic winds. A Red Flag Warning is in effect through midnight Thursday.

There are 243 people assigned to these fires.  Of the five fires in the 141,004-acre complex, four are under a point zone protection strategy which consists of taking steps to protect sites of value such as cabins, lodges and Native allotments.

  • The Hutlinana Fire (#327) is 407 acres and 75% contained. This is a full suppression fire with the objective of 100% containment and extinguishment. Firefighters expect to complete containment today and will monitor the fire by aerial patrol.
  • The Tanana River Fire (#310) is at 18,466 acres. Resources continue mop up behind firing operations in the Roadhouse area as well as improving a trail to be used as a secondary fuel break between there and Deadman’s Lake. Firing operations will resume as necessary to keep the fire in check, and to protect structures and values at risk in these areas. 
  • The Bitzshitini Fire (#312) is at 54,721 acres. Smokejumpers continue to hold and improve the mop up work around the cabins to the north and east of this fire. Point protection remains a priority on this fire.
  • The Chitanana Fire (#315) is at 56,719 acres. Crews continue mopping up around the cabins, allotments, and other structures in the area and conducting firing operations as necessary. Growth is eastward toward the Dragon Fire.
  • The Dragon Fire (#343) is at 10,691 acres. Protection of the structures around Mooseheart Lake continues as the fire maintains a pattern of steady westward growth each day. 

Today’s operations will maintain current point protection, assess the need for future point protection, and continue air operations when visibility allows.

The State Forester for the Alaska Division of Forestry & Fire Protection issued an Emergency Burn Closure Order at 11:59 p.m. on July 1, 2022, It restricts all burning that requires a local or state burn permit, including uncontained cooking, warming, and signaling fires. The Alaska Department of Public Safety has restricted the use of fireworks across much of Alaska. Please refer to to see if you’re impacted. With the present risk of thunderstorms, please do your part to prevent new fires.

For more information, contact Bean Complex at email:; or 907-921-2454

Categories: AK Fire Info

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