(Clear, Alaska) – A RED FLAG WARNING has been issued for the fire area today. Conditions have set the stage for a critical fire weather environment, and residents who have chosen to stay in areas defined as “Go” are again ENCOURAGED TO EVACUATE. The area is unsafe and rescue attempts may place firefighters’ and citizens’ lives in danger.
Please slow down and remain alert while driving on the Parks Hwy and any other roads in the fire area. Conditions may be dusty and smoky with low visibility, and there are numerous fire apparatus and firefighters operating on these roads at all hours. Help us keep our firefighters and the public safe.
Weather: RED FLAG WARNING. Today should be partly cloudy in the morning with showers and thunderstorms developing by the afternoon, with the potential to become more profuse in the evening. Winds should be light in the morning, increasing in the afternoon to 6-10 mph from the west on the north end of the fire, gusts to 15 mph. On the south end of the fire, winds should be 6-10 mph from the south, gusts to 17 mph. Sunday could be another challenging weather day, with Red Flag conditions persisting and with possibilities for lightning. Moisture flowing into the region will improve chances of wetting rainfall for Sunday and possibly Monday.
Fire Activity: Dry conditions, clear skies, and variable and erratic winds contributed to unstable conditions and led to another day of very active fire in the Kobe Ag Subdivision yesterday. Fire activity increased early in the day. Large smoke columns were visible over the fire as firefighters worked to protect the area by building fire line and performing burn out operations to remove fuels in the path of the fire. Dozers and firefighters constructed north-south fire line just south of the Kobe Rd, east-west line along the Kobe Rd, and from Rochester Rd north, paralleling the river. Crews will continue work on these lines today. Numerous planes and helicopters could be seen over the fire yesterday dropping water to help cool the fire’s edge and assist firefighters in their work, and they will do so again today. Firefighters will continue working around structures, attempting to cool areas of heat and prevent fire spread. Crews working the night operational period are supporting these efforts, and the newly added Structure Group is providing extra help in Divs K and G. The southern portion of Div K will continue to be monitored until firefighters are able to gain access to this remote area.
In Div G on the north side of Kobe Ag, fire was less active yesterday. The dozer lines on the west and north edges of Div G are holding. Firefighters in the south of Div G are working to box in the top portion of the fire in Kobe Ag by constructing more east-west dozer line north of the fire perimeter and by building north-south dozer line at the east edge of the fire. They are doing this work with the support of aircraft.
Div B in the northeast exhibited very little fire activity yesterday. Crews here are nearly finished with their mop-up work. The spot from July 6 is mopped up and controlled. Today, firefighters will keep mopping up and will further secure fire line in the south of Div B.
The northern-most part of the fire in Div A is nearing patrol-only status, with minimal fire behavior and little mop-up remaining. Today, Div A will be combined with Div O.
Yesterday in Div O in the northwest, a spot fire was discovered across the Teklanika River near the Divs O/A break. There are a small number of structures near this spot, and fire managers anticipate fire spread toward those structures. Fire managers have dedicated a crew of firefighters to protect these structures. Prep work took place yesterday, and the firefighters will remain in the area for structure defense and will utilize defensive burning operations if called for.
Structure prep is complete in the city of Anderson in Div F, and most resources from Div F are currently assisting in Div K.
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.